Gold prices eased back Thursday from the highs of over $2,000 an ounce seen earlier in the week. Prices reached an intra-day high of just under $1,999 Thursday but fell back to trade at around $1,990 to $1,995 for most of the afternoon session.
The latest action suggests buyers are unwilling to sustain purchasing at above the psychological $2,000 mark for the time being.
Trading in the commodities and wider financial markets was subdued Thursday due to the US Thanksgiving holiday, and Friday is expected to see similar conditions with a shortened trading day in the US.
German manufacturing PMI data for November released Thursday came in better than the market’s expectations, and posted the highest reading in six months. Putting this in context, the figures still show a significant contraction in Germany’s manufacturing sector, albeit that the rate of contraction has slowed in recent months. Weaker economies in general represent a bullish factor for demand for gold, which is seen as a safe haven asset.
In recent weeks, the markets have focused on weighing up the probability that central banks have finished with their interest rate hiking cycle. While any eventual rate cuts could clear the way for higher gold prices, any longer than expected period of keeping rates at current levels could weigh on prices in the absence of other bullish drivers.
On the macro side, Friday will see the release of Japanese inflation figures and German Ifo Business Climate data for further signals on likely interest rates and economic conditions.
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