It’s been a week of ups and downs for metals prices across the board due to Greece concerns and China’s stock market meltdown.
The gold price was sitting at $1,160.20 per ounce as of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday. That’s up from the week’s low of $1,147.10, reached on Wednesday, but fairly far off from last Friday’s closing price of $1,168.30.
Two major factors moved the gold price this past week: Greece and China. First, the metal saw a slight price increase on Monday after Greece voted “no” in a much-anticipated referendum on the terms of a bailout agreement for the country.
Gold’s fortune then turned later in the week on the back of a stock market meltdown in China. Though the country’s securities regulator has enacted various measures to rectify the situation, as yet they appear to have had little effect.
It’s not just gold that was impacted by those two countries. Like gold, silver started off the week well, but took a steep drop to $14.76 per ounce on Wednesday. It was sitting at $15.58 per ounce as of 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday.
The metal’s downward turn earlier in the week spurred significant buying in the US, with the US Mint announcing midway through the week that it’s had to suspend sales of US silver eagle coins for the time being. Interestingly, Reuters notes that the gold price drop did not spark demand in China, as some expected.
Meanwhile, the copper price dropped to 2009 levels earlier in the week. It saw a bit of a recovery after that, but Dow Jones Business News states that on Friday the metal’s price “pulled lower … as investors took stock of a volatile week in China’s share market and adjusted their outlook on the country’s economy and likely demand for industrial metals.”
China is the biggest consumer of copper, and the metal’s price is thus closely tied to economic prospects in the Asian nation. Friday saw COMEX copper futures for September delivery sink 0.7 percent to hit $2.5335 per pound.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the oil price was not exempt from the turmoil this past week. According to the Financial Times, Brent crude hit $55 per barrel on Monday, then rose back to $59 on Friday.
Of course, that’s still markedly down from the $115 peak the oil price saw last June. While some believe the price of the fuel has bottomed out, the International Energy Agency has said the oil market will not finish rebalancing until “well into 2016,” meaning that lower prices may yet be in store.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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