MTECHTIPS:-Gold / Silver / Copper futures – weekly outlook: July 27 – 31
Gold futures sank to the lowest level in more than five years on Friday, as ongoing expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates at its September policy meeting weighed. Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange hit an intraday low of $1,072.30 a troy ounce, a level not seen since February 2010, before closing at $1,085.50, down $8.60, or 0.79%. For the week, prices of the precious metal tumbled $44.80, or 4.08%, the fifth straight weekly loss. Gold has been under heavy selling pressure in recent months amid speculation the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in nine years as soon as September. Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise. Also on the Comex, silver futures for September delivery dropped 21.3 cents, or 1.45%, on Friday to settle at $14.48 a troy ounce. Silver prices lost 34.2 cents, or 2.33%, on the week, the fifth consecutive weekly decline. Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery shed 0.3 cents, or 0.13%, on Friday to settle at $2.382 a pound after hitting a session low of $2.350, a level not seen since June 2009. Copper sold off on Friday after private sector data showed that manufacturing activity in China slowed to a 15-month low in July, fueled fears over slackening demand for the industrial metal. The preliminary reading of the Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ to 48.2 from a final reading of 49.4 in June. It was the lowest reading since April 2014. For the week, copper prices plunged 11.5 cents, or 4.57%, the fourth consecutive weekly fall, as concerns over the health of China’s economy drove down prices. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.