Metals Weekly Round-Up: Gold Moves Past US$1,800

- May 7th, 2021

The other precious metals were also in the green and moving higher to start the month. Meanwhile, copper hit an all-time high.

The gold price was on an upward trend this week, ultimately breaching the important US$1,800 per ounce level for the first time since February 22.

After slipping to US$1,735 to end the second month of the year, gold values struggled to gain momentum in March. As headwinds from 10 year Treasury yields and the US dollar dissipated, concerns over inflation mounted, allowing the yellow metal to edge higher through April.

The other precious metals were also in the green and moving higher to start the month.

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Gold was up as high as US$1,837.70 on Thursday (May 6), a 5 percent uptick from its year-to-date low at the end of February. Gold’s value rose 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of this year.

Moving ahead, the World Gold Council is monitoring several factors that may impact the market, including declining demand in India and continuous outflows in the exchange-traded fund segment.

“Looking forward, we expect inflation concerns and the direction of rates to remain an important driver of gold prices, while rising COVID cases could weigh on consumer demand but support investment,” reads a gold market commentary note from the group.

The gold price was at US$1,834.73 as of 11:15 a.m. EDT on Friday (May 7)

Silver spent most of March and April retracting from its February year-to-date high of US$28.55 per ounce. Dipping as low as US$25.84 to end April, the white metal rocketed to US$27.41 this week.

Fundamentals for the versatile metal remain positive for the remainder of the year as prices continue to benefit from increased investment and industrial demand.

“The outlook for 2021 indicated that all segments of silver demand are expected to rise, offsetting the projected increase in mine production and silver scrap supply,” reads an April update from the Silver Institute. “Silver is poised to benefit from its value as a precious metal as well as its uses as an industrial material as the world enters a post-COVID environment this year.”

The value of silver was US$27.37 as of 11:18 a.m. EDT on Friday.

Platinum prices also exhibited strength to start the month and are up 17 percent year-to-date. Output disruptions in the platinum-group metals space are likely to support the metal’s ascent to a higher threshold. There are also several other trends that could aid in growth.

“As we re-emerge from the pandemic, we now consider the role platinum has to play in global decarbonisation – one of the clearest global imperatives to emerge during the pandemic,” states a report from the World Platinum Investment Council.

“Platinum is key to the production of green hydrogen and in fuel cells for electric vehicles, and this understanding among investors is rapidly increasing.”

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Platinum was selling for US$1,246 per ounce at 11:20 a.m. EDT on Friday.

As the other precious metals moved into the green, palladium has skyrocketed to new all-time highs. The metal has since fallen slightly lower, entering the US$2,850 range.

Palladium prices have held above US$2,000 for 10 of the last 12 months, with values expected to rise in relation to more robust vehicle emissions standards in the EU and China. At 11:21 a.m. EDT on Friday, palladium was trading for US$2,837.50.

Copper prices pushed past the US$10,000 per tonne mark to reach an all-time high of US$10,025 on Thursday. The red metal continues to trend to higher.

According to a Fastmarkets report, sentiment for base metals remains positive across the board.

“Some metals pulled back to consolidate on Wednesday (May 5), but once again dips were limited and short-lived and most metals were push(ed) higher again this morning, all of which suggests the underlying tone remains bullish,” reads a Friday note from the firm.

Copper was priced at US$10,215 on Friday.

Zinc also made gains, rising to a year-to-date high of US$2,959.50 per tonne on Wednesday. Values pulled back slightly later in the day, but strengthened to end the week. On Friday morning, zinc was trading for US$2,978.50.

Nickel was also in the green at week’s end. The metal entered the five day period at US$16,009 per tonne, and had added 12 percent to its value by Thursday.

Despite the rally, nickel is still well off its year-to-date high of US$19,689, reached on February 22. Currently nickel is moving for US$17,943.

Lead also edged higher for the first week of May. Soaring to a year-to-date high of US$2,186 per tonne, the metal has been steadily tending higher since mid-April. The lead price was at US$2,177 on  Friday.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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