Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: March 3 - 7

Chicago (Mar 2)  Silver for May delivery shed 0.52%, or $0.11 cents, on Friday to close the week at $21.24 a troy ounce.

The May silver futures contract dropped 2.47% on the week, the first weekly decline in four weeks. Despite the weekly loss, silver prices still rose 9.85% in February.

The Commerce Department said Friday that U.S. fourth quarter gross domestic product was revised down to an annual rate of 2.4%, from a preliminary estimate of 3.2%. Analysts had expected a downward revision to 2.5%.

Earlier in the week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen acknowledged recent weakness in U.S. data, saying it indicates softness in the economy.

In testimony to the Senate banking committee in Washington, Ms. Yellen said it was hard to say how much the recent soft data was due to weather and added that the bank would be attentive to signals on whether the recovery is progressing in line with expectations.

The recent patch of soft U.S. economic data forced investors to recalibrate their assumptions about the future course of the Fed's monetary policy.

In the week ahead, investors will be anticipating Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for an indication of the strength of the recovery in the labor market and the future course of monetary policy.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish bets in gold futures in the week ending February 25.

Net longs totaled 113,911 contracts, up 20.1% from net longs of 90,942 in the preceding week.

Elsewhere on the Comex, copper for March delivery declined 0.42% on Friday to settle the week at a four-week low of $3.187 a pound.

Comex copper prices lost 2.35% on the week, and 0.2% for the month, as lingering concerns over the health of China's economy and a weakening Chinese Yuan dampened sentiment.

Data released over the weekend showed that China's official manufacturing PMI fell to an eight-month low of 50.2 in February from 50.5 in January.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.