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Metals Stocks: Gold prices drift lower, pulling back from last week’s 1% rally

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Gold futures on Monday headed slightly lower, potentially extending a retreat after bullion scored its biggest daily gain in month last week.

Precious metals were seeing lackluster trade as investors considered a raft of events that could provide a catalyst for the metals complex, capping some of its decline.

That includes rising Middle Eastern tensions after a cyberattack said to originate from Israel reportedly damaged Iran’s uranium-enrichment efforts.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia also were in focus, as Kyiv turned to Turkey as an ally in a time of escalating animosities centered on the Ukrainian region of Donbas.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Istanbul was ready to provide any necessary support to its Black Sea neighbor at a meeting over the weekend, Reuters reported.

Additionally, China may be set to impose price controls to limit a surge in commodity values, said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com.

“Reports also say China’s central bank wants to tighten lending standards,” Wyckoff wrote.

June gold 
GC00,
-0.41%

GCM21,
-0.41%

was trading lower by $4.20, or 0.2%, at $1,740.60 an ounce on Comex, after prices finished about 1% higher for the weekly period Friday, based on the most-active contract.

Meanwhile, May silver
SIK21,
-0.69%

shed 16 cents, or 0.7%, at $25.16 an ounce, following a weekly rise of 1.3% put in on Friday.

Looking ahead, investors will watch for a report on inflation that could spark a fresh move in gold, which is viewed as a hedge against rising prices. The consumer-price index is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

During an interview on “60 Minutes, “Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank wants to see inflation rise above its 2% target for an extended period before officials consider raising rates.

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