Gold holds ground amidst market volatility

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

As markets realized that Israel's retaliatory attack on Iran caused little damage, gold lost its early momentum but still managed to hang on to the small gain that left it closing above $US2,400 an ounce on Friday.

Comex Gold for June delivery was last seen up $US8.70 to US$2,406.70 per ounce. That was after hitting a day’s high of $US2,433.30 an ounce and swinging through a range of more than $US48 from the low of $US2,386 an ounce.

Despite the swings, gold still managed a 2% gain for the week, leaving it up 16% year to date.

The Australian dollar price ended at just over $US3,727. This, as we have already seen with some quarterly reports from local miners, is going to provide a big boost for second-half earnings and cash flows. Watch for the report from Northern Star Resources midweek for support of that, while Newmont announces its first quarterly with Newcrest tucked away on Thursday.

Gold rushed above the $US2,400 mark during Asian trading on news of the Israeli retaliation, but that faded as Europe opened and then the US, as it became clear the attack was more symbolic than strategic or tactical.

And when Iran downplayed any need for retaliation, traders swung their attention back to bond yields, the value of the greenback, and the pace of rate cuts from the Fed.

"Gold briefly broke $2400 on the Israel attack reports before paring back gains. Still on track for a fifth weekly gain despite strong US data, hawkish comments from Fed members, and a stronger dollar," Saxo Bank noted.

The ICE dollar index was last seen down slightly lower (and the Aussie ended around 64.20 US cents, off 0.9% for the week), while US 10-year bond yields ended at 4.62%, up just over 9 points for the week.

Copper prices had another good week as the fundamentals continue to boost interest (a shortage of concentrates for the Chinese industry to process is holding prices higher than they would be).

Comex front-month metal for May delivery ended at $US4.49 a pound, close to the highest for two years and up 4.1% for the week and more than 15% year to date.

Silver also held up, ending at $US28.74 an ounce—a rise of 1.3% for the week and nearly 20% year to date.

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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