Gold prices edged slightly higher on Friday, continuing a modest rebound from mid-week lows.
Prices briefly rose as high as $2,038 an ounce on Friday, but fell back to around $2,025 by late deals. That compared with a mid-week low of $2,002 an ounce.
The markets were digesting the latest mix of economic data while taking into account the ongoing tensions in the Middle-East, which have injected a risk premium into the market.
Taking the week as a whole, gold prices were down as the market came under pressure from relatively strong economic data from the US. This prompted a stronger US dollar and higher Treasury yields – a bearish combination for gold prices.
The US Michigan Consumer Sentiment data for January released Friday came in much stronger than forecasts, reaching its highest score since July 2021. This added to a more favourable view on the US economic outlook and points towards a higher-for-longer scenario for interest rates, which would likely create a headwind for gold prices.
Nevertheless, the modest rebound on Thursday and Friday shows that gold is still supported, and the mid-week drop to close to the $2,000 an ounce mark may have triggered some action by traders looking to buy any dips. In addition, the markets continue to be on edge as traders assess the risk of hostilities in the Middle-East spreading into a wider and more disruptive conflict that could ignite further safe-haven flows.
Looking ahead to this week, Monday is looking light on key data releases and the markets will be watching out for the Euro Area Consumer Confidence figures on Tuesday for the latest outlook for the European economy.
Frank’s experience covering the commodities markets spans 22 years, with a particular specialism in metals, carbon and energy markets. He has worked as a senior editor for S&P Global Commodity Insights (formerly Platts) and before this, at ICIS-LOR, a part of Reed Business Information (Reed Elsevier), where he covered the petrochemicals markets from 2003 to 2005.
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