Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: August 15 - 19

  • Commodities News
Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: August 15 - 19 - Gold prices ended Friday's session in the red, after spending most of the day in positive territory as a raft of disappointing U.S. economic data reduced the probability of an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in the coming months.

Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped to a daily peak of $1,362.50 a troy ounce, before turning lower to settle at $1,343.20 by close of trade, down $6.80, or 0.5%.

U.S. retail sales were flat in July , the Commerce Department said, disappointing forecasts for a 0.4% rise and slowing sharply from growth of 0.8% in the preceding month.

Meanwhile, the July reading of the producer price index showed a decline of 0.4% , the largest drop since September 2015 and confounding expectations of a 0.1% gain.

Other data released Friday included business inventories, which rose more than expected in June , and consumer sentiment for August, which came in below expectations .

The downbeat data led investors to push back expectations for the next U.S. rate hike. Fed funds futures are currently pricing in just a 9% chance of a rate hike by September. December odds were at around 45%.

The U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, slumped to a more than one-week low of 95.19 in wake of the disappointing data. It was at 95.68 by late Friday, down almost 0.25% for the day.

For the week, gold dipped $1.20, or 0.08%, as market players continued to speculate over the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

The yellow metal flirted with a more than two-year high above the $1,370-level earlier this month before coming under pressure as a robust U.S. employment report revived speculation of a U.S. interest rate hike in the coming months. But those hopes were dashed following the release of a recent string of unexpectedly weak data.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.

For the year, the precious metal is up nearly 26%, boosted by concerns over global growth and expectations of monetary stimulus.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for September delivery tumbled 31.7 cents, or 1.58%, on Friday to settle at $19.70 a troy ounce. On the week, silver lost 11.5 cents, or 0.55%.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery sank 5.1 cents, or 2.33%, on Friday to end at $2.140 a pound after touching a session low of $2.135, a level not seen since July 8.

For the week, New York-traded copper prices slumped 1.4 cents, or 0.64%, the third weekly loss in a row, amid ongoing concerns over the strength of China's economy.

Data released Friday showed that Chinese industrial production gained 6.0% in July, below expectations for 6.1%, fixed asset investment rose 8.1%, missing forecasts for 8.8%, while and retail sales increased 10.2%, a tad worse than analyst projections of 10.5%.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for nearly 45% of world consumption.

In the week ahead, market players will be turning their attention to Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting for fresh clues on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike.

U.S. inflation data will also be in focus, as investors attempt to gauge if the world's largest economy is strong enough to withstand an increase in borrowing costs in the coming months.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, August 15

Japan is to release preliminary data on second quarter economic growth.

Financial markets in Italy will be closed for a national holiday.

The to release a report on manufacturing activity in the New York region.

Tuesday, August 16

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.

The U.K. is to produce what will be closely watched data on consumer prices.

In the euro zone, the ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

The U.S. is to release report on building permits and housing starts, consumer prices and industrial production.

Wednesday, August 17

New Zealand is to release its quarterly employment report.

Later in the day, the U.K. is to release its monthly jobs report.

The Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting.

Thursday, August 18

Australia is to publish its monthly employment report.

The U.K. is to report on retail sales.

The euro zone is to produce revised data on consumer inflation.

The European Central Bank is to publish its monetary policy meeting minutes.

The U.S. is to report on jobless claims and manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Friday, August 19

The U.K. is to release a report on public sector borrowing.

Canada is to round up the week with reports on retail sales and consumer inflation.

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