Gold sees little love after CPI reading, copper hit by China fears

  • Commodities News
Gold sees little love after CPI reading, copper hit by China fears
Credit: © Reuters. -- Gold prices steadied at one-month lows on Friday as recent data provided somewhat mixed cues on U.S. inflation, while copper prices were nursing steep losses for the week amid growing concerns over top importer China.

Data on Thursday showed that U.S. consumer inflation grew steadily in July from the prior month, remaining well above the Federal Reserve’s annual target range and inspiring little optimism in markets.

Stocks and other risk-driven assets saw high amounts of volatility after the inflation reading, pushing investors largely towards the dollar as a safe haven over gold. 

Thursday’s inflation data also did little to deter bets that the Fed will keep rates steady in September . But markets are growing increasingly doubtful that the central bank will cut rates this year, positing a weak outlook for gold.

Gold heads for third negative week as dollar outperforms 

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,915.06 an ounce, while gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,947.20 an ounce by 21:50 ET (01:50 GMT). Both instruments were set to lose over 1% this week, their third straight week in red. 

Bullion prices, as well as broader metal markets, were pressured by an increase in the dollar, as a rout in the bond market and uncertainty over interest rates spurred flows into the dollar. 

The greenback rose this week, and has largely outperformed gold as a safe haven in recent months amid increasing bets that U.S. interest rates will remain higher for longer.

Higher interest rates bode poorly for gold and other metals, given that they push up the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets. 

Other precious metals logged some gains on Thursday, but were still set to close the week lower. Platinum futures were down 1% for the week, while silver was set to lose nearly 4%. 

Copper steadies, but set for nearly 3% weekly loss on China concerns 

Among industrial metals, copper prices rose slightly on Friday, but were nursing steep losses for the week amid increasing signs of economic weakness in major importer China. 

Copper futures rose 0.1% to $3.7605 a pound, but were down 2.8% for the week.

Weak inflation and trade data from China showed that the world’s largest copper importer saw little economic relief at the beginning of the third quarter. This was accompanied by increasing concerns over the country’s property market, amid reports that several major developers were facing difficulties in meeting their debt obligations.

New U.S. restrictions on investments in China’s technology sector also ramped up fears of a resurgent trade war between the two countries.


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