Comex gold futures settled virtually all but steady on Friday but enjoyed the best weekly return in more than a month.
Political instability in Italy with talk of a split in the ruling coalition and a possible summer election and another round of fear-mongering from Donald Trump in his trade war with China helped maintain interest in gold
December Comex gold futures shed $US1, or less than 0.1%, at $US1,508.50 an ounce.
For the week, gold rose 3.5% based on the most-active contract’s finish on August 2. The weekly rise was the best since June 21 according to FactSet data.
Meanwhile, Comex September silver eased less than 0.1%, to settle at $US16.931 an ounce. For the week, silver jumped 4.1%.
The yield on US 10-year Treasury bonds ended at 1.748% Friday, while comparable German bonds (a proxy for the health of eurozone economy), were at negative 0.58%, hovering near a record low.
Key US bond yields this week hit the lowest level since October of 2016.
The yield on the Australian 10-year bond ended under the cash rate at 0.95%.
President Donald Trump ignited a brief period of selling in stock markets on Friday afternoon after he implied that a September meeting between China and US officials on trade may not take place.
Elsewhere on Comex, October platinum fell $US, or 0.4%, to $US863.80 an ounce, a gain of 1.3%. September palladium rose $US5.80, or 0.4%, to settle at $US1,419.30 an ounce, also logging a weekly return of 1.1%.
Comex September copper shed 1.85 cents, or 0.7%, to end at $US2.5890 a pound, with a weekly gain of 0.7%.
The seaborne iron ore market didn’t trade on Friday because of the Singapore National Day (most of the offshore trading is done out of Singapore).
On Thursday, August 8, some buying interest emerged and stopped prices falling for a seventh consecutive trading day.
The Metal Bulletin’ index for iron ore 62% Fe fines delivered to northern China edged up 81 cents to $US94.12 a tonne. They fell 13% last week.
China’s imports in July reached 90.9 million tonnes, up from a 40-month-low of 75.08 million tonnes in June and 1.2% higher than 89.3 million tonnes in July 2018.
Over the first seven months of 2019, China imported 590.08 million tonnes of iron ore, down 4.9% from the same period last year.
China’s July iron ore imports were back near 91.26 million tonnes in January.