Gold steady on safe-haven demand early Monday amid rising global coronavirus cases and a weaker dollar, meanwhile, palladium is holding near record.
Global COVID-19 cases climbed to a new record over the weekend amid a second-wave surge in India, where deaths from the coronavirus are occurring just under every four minutes. Meanwhile, investors are awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement on Wednesday for guidance on the state of the pandemic-hit economy.
Front-month gold futures fell 0.1% last week to settle at $1,777.80 an ounce on Comex after slipping 0.2% Friday. Futures are up 3.6% so far this month 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 $0.60 an ounce to $1,778.40 and the DG spot price is $1,780.50.
Speculators increased their bullish positions in Comex gold in the week ended April 20, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report.
Spot palladium gained 2.6% last week to $2,870.50 an ounce and advanced 0.7% Friday. It touched a record high of $2,925.14 on Friday as well, amid strong industrial demand. Palladium is up 8.8% this month after rising in February and March. It rallied 26% in 2020.
The Fed has committed to maintaining an accommodative monetary policy until the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic ends. The European Central Bank kept its accommodative monetary policy in place last week. Stimulus measures are considered bullish for precious metals, which have historically been used as a hedge against any resulting inflation.
In upcoming economic news, investors will be watching for U.S. reports on durable goods orders Monday, home prices and consumer confidence Tuesday, the Fed statement and Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference Wednesday, initial jobless claims and first-quarter GDP data Thursday and core inflation Friday. Reports last week showed, U.S. factory orders surged, new home sales jumped and U.S. weekly initial jobless claims fell to a pandemic-era low.
The COVID-19 virus has killed almost 3.11 million people worldwide and sickened more than 146.8 million. About 22% of the cases — and 18% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has more than 32 million cases, more than any other nation.
Front-month silver futures were little changed last week as the most-active contract rolled to July. July silver futures retreated 0.4% Friday to $26.11 an ounce on Comex. Silver is up 6.5% in April after dropping in February and March. It gained 47% in 2020. The July contract is up $0.121 on ounce currently to $26.114 and the DG spot price is $26.26.
Spot platinum rose 1.8% Friday to $1,235.20 an ounce and gained 1.9% Friday. Platinum is up 3.3% in April after trading flat in March. The autocatalyst metal rose 11% in 2020. The DG spot price is currently up $8.70 an ounce to $1,244.80.
Spot palladium gained 5.1% last week to $2,798.50 an ounce and increased 1.5% Friday. Palladium is up 6.1% this month after rising in February and March. It rallied 26% in 2020. Currently, the DG spot price for palladium is up $54 ounce to $2,931.00.
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