MTECHTIPS;- Gold / Silver / Copper futures – weekly outlook: July 6 –
Gold prices stabilized on Friday, recovering from three-and-a-half month lows as the dollar slid lower in holiday thinned trade and investors remained wary ahead of a critical weekend referendum in Greece. U.S. markets remained closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday. Gold futures for August delivery closed at $1,167.8 a troy ounce, off Thursday’s lows of $1,155.80. For the week, the contract lost 0.83%. Gold firmed up as the dollar slid lower after disappointing U.S. jobs data tempered expectations for higher interest rates later this year. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in June, compared to expectations for jobs growth of 230,000. Hourly earnings were flat in June, missing expectations for growth of 0.2%. The Federal Reserve has said that continued strengthening in the labor market is a key factor in deciding when to start hiking interest rates.Rising interest rates would weigh on gold prices, because the precious metal doesn’t yield interest, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 96.38 late Friday, little changed for the day. For the week, the index still added 0.67%, boosted by weakness in the euro as Greece’s debt crisis escalated. Investors remained cautious ahead of a referendum in Greece on whether to accept or reject the terms of an international bailout deal, which could set the county on a course for an exit from the euro zone. Uncertainty over Greece has so far failed to spur increased investor demand for gold, often perceived as a safe-haven asset Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for September delivery ended up 0.58% at $15.65 a troy ounce, trimming the week’s losses to 1.31%. Copper for September delivery slid to $2.618 a pound late Friday, to end the week 0.15% lower.