Market

Gold prices decline as traders eye unrest in China

Gold prices headed lower in Monday trading as traders eyed burgeoning civil unrest in China and this week’s U.S. economic data for clues on the next moves on interest rates by the Federal Reserve.

Price action
  • Gold for December delivery
    GCZ22,
    -0.61%

    was down $7, or 0.4%, at $1,747 per ounce on Comex. February Gold
    GCG23,
    -0.59%
    ,
    which is also among the most-active contracts, traded at $1,760.70, down $8.10, or 0.5%.

  • December silver futures
    SIZ22,
    -1.94%

    were down 29 cents, or 1.4%, to $21.14 per ounce.

  • Palladium for March
    PAH23,
    +0.91%

    delivery advanced $8, or 0.4%, to $1,829.50 per ounce, while platinum prices
    PLF23,
    +1.38%

    for March delivery, which is the most active, rose $8.70, or 0.5%, to $1,839.50 per ounce.

  • March copper
    HGH23,
    -0.58%

    was down 2 .75cents, or 0.8%, at $3.603 per pound.

What’s happening

Commodity prices and U.S. benchmark stock indexes were trading mostly lower as traders are anxious about the most severe wave of unrest to rock China since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, according to Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com.

“The marketplace is uneasy to start the trading week, as there is civil unrest in China over its strict zero-Covid policies. Reports said there were demonstrations across China over the weekend. It’s the largest show of discontent since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989,” Wyckoff said.

Gold investors are also looking ahead to a busy week of U.S. economic data, which includes the third-quarter GDP reading on Wednesday, PCE price index Thursday and monthly jobs data Friday.

Prices for the precious metal are “sitting in the middle of a potential new range” between $1,780 resistance, which was a major level of support in the first half of the year, and $1,730 support, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a market update.

With so much U.S. economic data on tap, “we could see one of these [resistance or support levels] give way in the coming days, setting us up nicely for the Fed meeting in two weeks,” he said.

“The latest inflation data will also be released a little over 24 hours before that interest rate decision [on Dec. 14), so it could be a volatile couple of weeks for the yellow metal,” said Erlam.

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