Silver prices were steady on Friday after recapturing losses seen at the beginning of the week.
Prices moved in a range of $22.75 to $22.98 an ounce on Friday, little changed from Thursday’s range.
Both silver and gold were in a holding pattern at the end of the week, as the markets mulled the latest figures from the US, which painted a mixed picture on the economy.
Monthly personal income figures for December came in above forecasts, while monthly personal spending fell below market expectations, according to figures released Friday. The latest data provided few clues on the outlook for US interest rates, with the markets mulling the likelihood that the US Fed may start a cycle of interest rate cuts in the next few months.
Data from interest rate traders on Friday pointed to a slightly greater chance of the US Fed maintaining the current 5.25% interest rate at its meeting in March, compared with a 25-basis point cut.
The relative price stability capped a week of overall gains for silver, in contrast to gold which lost ground through the week.
Silver prices took some support in the second half of the week from reports that China plans to boost liquidity in the banking system to support economic growth in what is a major consumer of silver.
Looking ahead, Tuesday will see a flurry of economic data released, including the Euro Area GDP growth rate for Q4 and the US JOLTs job openings numbers for December, which are set to provide the latest update on the US economy.
Later in the day, the markets will be watching out for Japanese industrial production figures for December. Manufacturing activity plays into the overall demand picture for silver, as roughly half of total demand comes from industrial uses of the metal.
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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