Copper prices were also up this week, while oil prices were a mixed bag on Friday.
It’s only the fifth day of February, but already the month has been good for the gold price. The yellow metal rose steadily throughout the week, reaching its highest price in three and a half months on Thursday before declining slightly on Friday.
Looking at what’s been driving gold’s gains, Kitco pointed Thursday to “the slumping U.S. dollar index” as just one of many bullish elements that buoyed the price of the metal throughout the week. Safe-haven and technical buying are other factors identified by the news outlet.
Friday’s slight gold price fall came on the back of US jobs data, which according to another Kitco article “was on the weak side of expectations.” Specifically, the nonfarm payrolls number came in at 151,000 instead of the expected 185,000. “This report falls into the camp of U.S. monetary policy doves who want the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising interest rates,” states the publication.
As of 12:42 p.m. EST on Friday, gold was changing hands at $1,156.70 per ounce. For its part, the silver price was sitting at $14.73 per ounce as of 12:48 p.m. EST. Like gold, silver hit a three-month high on Thursday.
On the base metals side, copper prices also fared well this week. According to Reuters, three-month copper on the LME was sitting at $4,667 per tonne. That’s down from the previous session, when prices reached $4,720, their highest since January 4; however, the red metal was nevertheless on track for its third weekly gain prior to the release of the US jobs report.
Finally, oil prices were a mixed bag Friday after Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) said that the number of rigs in US oil fields dropped by 31 to a total of 467. Brent crude futures were up $0.20, changing hands at $34.66 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $0.07, at $31.65.
“Volatility on the oil market is extremely high just now. This is due for the most part to the high speculative activity on the part of market participants,” CNBC quotes Commerzbank (ETR:CBK) as saying.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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