Gold rises early Monday ahead of ISM data release as analysts await key first-of-the month economic data from around the world.
Lower Treasury yields and a surge in global coronavirus cases made the yellow metal more attractive as a risk-off investment. Palladium extended record highs, trading near $3,000 an ounce.
Front-month gold futures fell 0.6% last week to settle at $1,767.70 an ounce on Comex after slipping 60 cents Friday. The June contract advanced 3% in April after dropping in January, February and March. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic. Currently, the June contract is up $20.60 an ounce to $1,788.30 and the DG spot price is $1,789.70.
Spot palladium gained 3.3% last week to $2,966.50 an ounce, though it slipped 0.2% FridayThe metal jumped 12% last month amid strong industrial demand. Palladium also rose in February and March. It rallied 26% in 2020. The DG spot price is currently up $31.80 to $3,002.50.
In economic news, investors will watch for the release Monday of the U.S. ISM manufacturing report for a snapshot on the state of the economy. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will also give a speech this afternoon. The closely watched monthly jobs report for April is due out Friday. U.S. initial jobless claims fell to another pandemic-era low in the last weekly report released Thursday.
Manufacturing activity in Taiwan and South Korea remained expansive last month, though China’s level of factory output cooled, data released over the weekend show.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis escalated in India and Japan. In India, officials reported more than 400,000 new cases a day over the weekend, setting new records. The outbreak is the world’s worst. Reuters reported that physical gold in India was sold at a discount last week for the first time this year as strict pandemic rules kept buyers away, reducing demand.
Japan also reached a record number of severely symptomatic patients over the weekend.
The COVID-19 virus has killed more than 3.2 million people worldwide and sickened almost 152.9 million. About 21% of the cases — and 18% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has almost 32.4 million cases, more than any other nation, though its proportion of both new cases and deaths has been declining as the vaccination effort becomes more widespread and other parts of the world have outbreaks.
Front-month silver futures fell 0.9% last week to settle at $25.87 an ounce on Comex after retreating 0.8% Friday. Silver gained 5.5% in April after dropping in February and March. It increased 47% in 2020. The July contract is currently up $0.722 an ounce to $26.595 and the DG spot price is $26.58.
Spot platinum dropped 2.4% last week to $1,205.40 an ounce after rising 0.2% Friday. Platinum increased 0.8% in April after trading flat in March. The autocatalyst metal rose 11% in 2020. The DG spot price is up $23.30 to $1,233.00.
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