China Data Sees Copper Prices Firm, Gold Eases

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

As risk eased in financial markets, gold and silver went backwards, but copper, iron ore and other metals picked up momentum.

Comex gold futures rose on Friday, but the week with a small loss after getting a whacking on Thursday.

June gold rose $US1.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $US1,295.20 an ounce, down about 40 cents over the weekend.

Prices finished Thursday at $US1,293.30, the lowest finish since March 28, according to FactSet data.

May Comex silver rose 9.6 cents, or 0.7%, to $US14.963 an ounce. It ended the week down 0.8%. Prices Thursday ended at their lowest year to date.

May Comex copper added 2% at $US2.946 a pound, which saw prices rise 1.8% for the week.

July platinum rose 0.4% to $898.50 an ounce, down 0.8% over the week, while June futures palladium rose 1.3% to $US1,350.20 an ounce, for a weekly rise of 0.3%.

In London copper prices rose on Friday thanks to a weaker dollar and robust new loans data and export data from China.

LME three month copper closed 1.2% up at $US6,484 a tonne at the top of the narrow range of $US6,350 and $US6,550 the metal has traded at since the mid- February.

The March trade data showed China imported 391,000 tonnes of unwrought copper last month, up a strong 25.7% from 311,000 tonnes in February and 26.5% above March 2018.

LME nickel recovered from a session low of $US12,885 to end at $US12,980, up 0.7%.

LME aluminium added 0.2% to $US1,863 a tonne, zinc rose 2.2% to $US2,928, lead was little changed at $US1,925 and tin firmed rose 0.4% to $US20,600 a tonne.

Meanwhile seaborne iron ore prices rose on Friday with the Metal Bulletin 62% Fe Iron Ore Index: up 82 cents to $US96.47 a tonne.

That was up 3.8% from the $US92.90 a tonne the previous Thursday (the prior Friday was a holiday in China), according to Metal Bulletin data. That in turn was up from $US86.81 the Friday before.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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