Base Metals

Weekly Round-Up: Silver Outperforming Gold

Base Metals
Copper Investing

Silver may be outperforming gold, but both metals saw price increases this week. Copper and oil also did well.

Gold sunk as low as $1,227.50 per ounce this week, but looks set to end Friday on a high note.
The yellow metal was boosted above $1,260 after the US Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting ended Wednesday, and while it’s fallen a little since then, it was still at a respectable $1,253.10 as of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday.
Market participants were cheered following the Fed’s meeting because the central bank said it will leave the target range for the benchmark rate unchanged at 0.25 to 0.5 percent. The decision implies that economic growth in the US is weak, which is generally positive for gold.
It’s tough to say whether gold’s good fortune will continue, but the metal is now up just over 18 percent year-to-date.

For its part, silver performed much the same as gold this week. While it was lower at the beginning of the week, reaching a low point of $15.19 per ounce, it saw a boost after the Fed’s announcement, and as of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday was trading at $15.82.
Silver bugs may be interested to note that HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) and Commerzbank (ETR:CBK) recently came forward to say that the white metal has been outperforming gold lately. Explaining why that’s significant, HSBC said a note, “[u]p to now, silver failed to keep up with the gold rally. Part of this may be due to producers streaming or selling silver forward to raise cash. This increase may have weighed on prices.”
The firm added, “[l]onger term, this may be positive because future production has already been sold. Also silver coin and bars are becoming increasingly competitive with gold coins and bars and may see greater demand.”
On the base metals side, copper also had a good week. It’s up about 17 percent since midway through January, and on Friday saw a 1-percent increase to $5,120.50 per tonne — that’s its highest price in four months, according to Reuters.
Finally, oil prices gained this week as well, particularly on Friday. The Wall Street Journal states that the US oil benchmark rose 1.9 percent on the NYMEX to reach $40.98 per barrel; the global Brent contract was up 1.9 percent as well, sitting at $42.33 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.

The news outlet states that prices were driven up by hopes that the world’s major oil producers, including non-OPEC countries, “will join a production freeze at January levels, with or without the cooperation of Iran.”
As Global Risk Management’s Michael Poulsen explained, “[t]he fact that the world’s largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia and Russia will participate adds weight to the meeting even if Iran has announced it will not be present or part of the deal.”
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 
Related reading: 
Weekly Round-Up: 13-month High for Gold Price
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Enters Bull Market Territory
Weekly Round-Up: Buy Gold Now, Says Deutsche Bank
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Price Still Has Momentum
Weekly Round-Up: Gold Makes a Comeback


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