Base Metals

NYSE:GS

It’s been a topsy-turvy week for precious metals; meanwhile, copper and oil prices both took substantial hits this week.

The gold price was sitting at $1,090.80 per ounce at 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday after a week of ups and downs — it was as high as $1,107.20 earlier in the week, and hit a low of $1,072.90 on Thursday. 
According to Reuters, gold is seeing some support from falling equity markets, which are “underpinn[ing] demand for assets perceived as safer.” Gold is certainly one such asset — in times of turmoil, investors tend to turn to it and other precious metals as safe havens.
However, despite this week’s relatively stable performance, many aren’t convinced that gold’s troubles are over. Speaking to MarketWatch, Peter Grant, chief market analyst at precious metals dealer USAGOLD, commented, “[w]e have not see the price of gold confirm the low is in place yet.” In other words, gold may not have hit bottom.
And unfortunately, he’s by no means the only one market watcher with that opinion — at the end of 2015, many big-name firms, including Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), were calling for the yellow metal to perhaps fall below the $1,000 level in 2016.


For its part, the silver price has also had a topsy-turvy week, reaching a high of $14.18 per ounce on Wednesday and a low of $13.77 on Tuesday. As of 12:00 p.m. EST on Friday it was changing hands at $13.91.
On the base metals side, copper began trading under $2 per pound on Monday, a fall that market watchers had been anticipating for some time. The drop was largely driven by worries over the Chinese economy — trading in the country was halted twice last week when 7-percent drops in the market triggered circuit-breaking mechanisms.
The copper price hasn’t fared better since Monday, closing at its lowest level in nearly seven years on Friday. According to The Wall Street Journal, NYMEX copper futures fell 1.6 percent to end at $1.944. The news outlet states that the red metal “has essentially wiped out all of its postrecession gains” and is down over 50 percent from its early 2011 peak.
Finally, oil prices were below $30 per barrel on Friday, “with daily losses rivaling their biggest of the winter,” as per another Wall Street Journal article. Specifically, light, sweet crude on the NYMEX was at $29.64, while Brent was at $29.51 on the ICE Futures Europe.
The news outlet notes that relief is not expected anytime soon given that markets in China are “flailing” and Iranian exports are set to re-enter the market soon.

On that first point, Abhishek Deshpande, chief oil analyst at Natixis (EPA:KN), commented, “China has been a key pillar of demand for years and if you take that out, things aren’t looking good for crude.” Meanwhile, speaking to the second point, Commerzbank (ETR:CBK) said in a report, “[t]he lifting of sanctions could not have come at any worse time for the oil market, and could therefore potentially drive prices further down.”
 
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 
Related reading: 
Weekly Round-Up: Gold on a Tear After China Troubles
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Price Rebounds from Six-year Low
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Holding Steady Ahead of Fed Meeting
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Price Up After Bumpy Week
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Price Hurt by Thin Trading

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COMMODITIES

Commodities
Gold1643.90+1.00
Silver18.880.00
Copper3.35-0.12
Palladium2070.95+11.79
Platinum859.50+4.63
Oil79.43-4.06
Heating Oil3.16-0.16
Natural Gas6.84-0.25

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