Gold was little changed early Friday, heading for a third weekly rally, on weaker U.S. Treasury yields and speculation that the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus indicates that pandemic isn’t over yet.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were trading around their lowest level in more than four months, making gold a more attractive alternate investment. But strength in the dollar kept pressure on the yellow metal.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced Thursday that they would seek emergency authorization for a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to target the delta variant. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention subsequently stated that fully vaccinated people don’t need a booster shot at this time.
August gold futures fell 0.1% Thursday to settle at $1,800.20 an ounce on Comex, but front-month futures gained 1% for the week through Thursday. There was no settlement on Comex on Monday in observance of the U.S. Independence Day holiday. Gold has increased 1.6% so far in July. It fell 7% in June in the worst month since November 2016 after advancing 7.8% in May, the best month for the precious metal since July 2020. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic and is down 5% so far in 2021. Currently, the August contract is up $8.10 an ounce to $1,808.30 and the DG spot price is $1,809.80.
U.S. weekly initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased last week, data released Thursday show, indicating that growth in the job market may be slowing. New applications for unemployment benefits fell to a pandemic-era low the prior week.
Fears about inflation triggered by pandemic stimulus measures are keeping a floor under gold prices. The yellow metal is a traditional hedge against inflation. But signals that the Federal Reserve may escalate plans to tighten monetary policy are seen as bearish for the precious metal, keeping it in a tight range.
The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers are set to meet Friday in Italy and may convey more signals on the state of the global economy.
September silver futures retreated 0.5% Thursday to settle at $25.99 an ounce on Comex. The front-month contract dropped 1.9% for the week through Thursday and 0.8% so far this month. Silver fell 6.5% in June after rallying 8.3% in May. The metal rose 47% in 2020 and is down 1.6% so far this year. The September contract is currently up $0.138 an ounce to $26.125 and the DG spot price is $26.14
Spot palladium decreased 1.3% Thursday to $2,823.50 an ounce. It’s up 1% this week and 1.1% so far this month. It retreated 1.8% in June after losing 4.1% in May. It’s up 15% so far in 2021. The current snapshot of its DG spot price is up $4.80 an ounce to $2,827.00
Spot platinum slipped 0.5% Thursday to $1,083.90 an ounce. It’s down 1.1% so far this week but up 0.3% in July. It dropped 9% in June after losing 1.5% in May. The autocatalyst metal is up 1% in 2021. The DG spot price is currently up $17.00 an ounce to $1,104.50.
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