Gold prices were range bound on Friday, showing little conviction in either direction, and closing out a week that was slightly bearish for prices overall.
Prices briefly touched the $2,025 an ounce mark on Friday but eased lower to around $2,018 an ounce later in the day. That compared with a mid-week push higher to around $2,035 an ounce on Wednesday.
The markets were digesting mixed signals from the US on Friday, with monthly personal income figures for December coming in slightly above consensus, but monthly personal spending underperforming against expectations.
Despite the moderate weakness seen across the week as a whole, gold prices have managed to hold up above the psychological $2,000 an ounce mark since mid-December. It will be worth noting whether any further downside in the coming days will test that key level.
On the demand side, China imported a record 1,447 tons of gold for non-monetary use in 2023, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.
China’s appetite for gold hit record levels last year as investors looked to protect their wealth amid a weaker currency, a property slump and worries over stock markets, the paper said, citing data from the Chinese government customs agency.
Looking ahead this week, attention will be focused on some key macroeconomic data releases. Tuesday will see the release of Euro Area GDP growth rate for Q4 as well as the US JOLTs job openings numbers for December, providing the latest signals on the health of the European and US economies.
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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