Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: March 14 - 18
San Francisco (Mar 13) Gold prices retreated from a fresh 14-month peak on Friday, as a recovery in the U.S. dollar, stronger global equity markets and higher oil prices dented the metal’s safe-haven appeal.
Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange slumped $13.40, or 1.05%, to end Friday’s session at $1,259.40 a troy ounce after hitting an intraday high of $1,287.80, the most since January 27, 2015. For the week, gold prices dipped $1.10, or 0.88%.
Gold prices soared along with the euro on Thursday after ECB President Mario Draghi rolled out fresh stimulus measures, including increased asset buying and a deeper cut to deposit rates, but signaled there would be no further rate cuts.
Prices of the yellow metal pulled back on Friday as the dollar index recovered around half a percent to end the week at 96.24, after falling to a one-month low of 95.94 in the prior session.
Meanwhile, global stocks rallied on Friday in a delayed response to the European Central Bank's stimulus measures announced Thursday. The S&P 500 closed at its highest level of the year, while Germany’s DAX finished 3.5% higher.
Gold came under additional pressure as oil prices rallied to fresh three-month highs after the International Energy Agency provided indications that the prolonged rout in oil may have hit a bottom as low prices were beginning to impact production outside of OPEC.
Despite Friday’s losses, prices of the yellow metal are up nearly 18% so far this year as investors seek safe havens in the face of mounting instability in other financial markets.
Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery tacked on 6.1 cents, or 0.39%, on Friday to close at $15.60 a troy ounce. On the week, silver futures declined 3.7 cents, or 0.47%.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for May delivery inched up 2.1 cents, or 0.95%, on Friday to end the week at $2.241 a pound. For the week, Comex copper prices lost 2.8 cents, or 1.41%, amid renewed jitters over the health of China’s economy.
Official data released over the weekend showed that China's factory output in the first two months of the year slowed to the weakest level since November 2008, adding to the view that the economy remains in the midst of an ongoing slowdown which will require Beijing to roll out more support in coming months.
Industrial production rose by an annualized rate of 5.4% in January, below expectations for a 5.6% increase and slowing from a gain of 5.9% in the preceding month, the General Administration of Customs said on Saturday.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for nearly 45% of world consumption.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy statement for any indication that the bank is considering slowing the path of interest rate increases this year.
Traders will also be awaiting monetary policy announcements from the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Tuesday, March 15
The Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its rate statement. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.
The U.S. is to release reports on retail sales and producer price inflation.
Wednesday, March 16
The U.S. is to release reports on building permits, housing starts, consumer price inflation and industrial production. Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is to announce its latest interest rate decision and hold a post-policy meeting press conference.
Thursday, March 17
The Swiss National Bank is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its monetary policy assessment. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.
Later, the Bank of England is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish the minutes of its monetary policy meeting.
The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as data on manufacturing activity in Philadelphia.
Friday, March 18
The U.S. is to round up the week preliminary data on consumer sentiment, while Fed Governors William Dudley, Eric Rosengren and James Bullard are due to speak at public events throughout the day.