Gold prices dipped slightly this week, but finished up 0.1 percent overall to continue a winning streak for the yellow metal. The gold price was up 1.51 percent on Friday, sitting at $1,290.90 per ounce as of 2:02 p.m. EST.
Gold was buoyed by poor jobs data out of the US, according to MarketWatch. 160,000 new jobs were added in April, well below the 205,000 jobs expected by analysts polled by the news outlet. That weak result supports the Fed’s recent decision to leave interest rates unchanged, and lowers expectations of a rate increase in the near future.
“This precious metal is bullish on the daily timeframe and the diminishing expectations that U.S. rates may be increased in 2016 may have provided an opportunity for bulls to install a round of buying momentum above $1,270,” Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst at FXTM, was quoted as saying.
So far, gold prices have gained over 21 percent in 2016.
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Despite bullish sentiment for the precious metals sector as a whole, the silver price didn’t get quite the same boost from US jobs data this week. It finished the week down 1.33 percent, to trade at $17.42 per ounce as of 2:26 p.m. EST.
Explaining why silver didn’t see the same rise as gold this week, William Adams at The Bullion Desk writes, “Silver’s rally had taken off but prices may have run ahead of themselves. They have started to pull-back.” Still, the white metal is up over 23 percent in 2016.
On the base metals side of things, comex copper prices fell 4.22 percent to $2.19 per pound for the week as of 2:19 p.m. EST on Friday. Continued worries over waning demand in China brought the red metal to an 11-day low, according to the Wall Street Journal.
China is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for roughly 45 percent of global demand. However, it’s also the second largest copper producer globally, and output is still going strong. “China’s largest copper producer, Jiangxi, said the recent output cuts have been offset by new capacity in the country,” stated an ANZ research note, referring to a December announcement that Chinese smelters would cut refined copper output by 400,000 tonnes.
Finally, oil prices fell slightly for the week-Brent Crude futures gained 24 cents on Friday to close at $45.25 per barrely, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures closed lower for the week at $44.66 per barrel, according to Reuters.
In the oil space this week, all eyes have been on the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, which has been ravaged by an 85,000 hectare wildfire. A number of oil sands production facilities operate near the town, and many have shut down operations and evacuated workers due to the fire. As per BNN, there is no estimate on when operations might resume.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.