Jan 10, 2016 06:18 PM IST | Source:

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: January 11 - 15

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: January 11 - 15 - - Gold prices retreated from a nine-week high on Friday, as the U.S. dollar strengthened after data showed the U.S. economy created much more jobs than expected in December.

The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs last month, after increasing an upwardly revised 252,000 in November. Economists had forecast payrolls to rise by 200,000. The unemployment rate held steady at a seven-and-a-half year low of 5% in December.

The report bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates at a faster pace this year. Rising interest rates historically have been bad news for gold, which can't compete with the higher interest rates offered by other assets.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last at 98.45, up 0.16% for the day.

Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $9.90, or 0.89%, on Friday to close the week at $1,097.90 a troy ounce. It earlier rose to a session high of $1,113.10, the most since November 4.

Despite Friday's losses, gold prices still gained $34.40, or 3.54%, on the week, as safe-haven demand was boosted amid a global stock market rout, worries over the Chinese economy and heightened geopolitical tensions.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery dropped 42.6 cents, or 2.97%, on Friday to settle at $13.91 a troy ounce. On the week, silver futures inched up 10.3 cents, or 0.83%.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery dipped 0.6 cents, or 0.28%, to settle the week at $2.022 a pound on Friday after sinking to $1.990 on Thursday, a level not seen since May 2009.

For the week, Comex copper prices plunged 5.4 cents, or 5.13%, as a meltdown on China's stock market and a rapid depreciation of the yuan rattled investor sentiment.

While investors had expected the central bank to allow the yuan to fall further after last year's 4.5% depreciation, the rapid pace of the devaluation has fueled fears that the world's number two economy is growing even more slowly than expected.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for nearly 45% of world consumption.

In the week ahead, investors will continue to focus on economic reports out of China, with Wednesday's trade data in the spotlight.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is to release data on retail sales, producer prices and consumer sentiment as market players look for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future path of rate hikes.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, January 11

Markets in Japan will be closed for a national holiday.

Tuesday, January 12

Federal Reserve vice-chair Stanley Fischer is to speak at an event in Paris.

Wednesday, January 13

China is to release data on the trade balance.

Thursday, January 14

The Bank of England is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish the minutes of its policy meeting.

The European Central Bank is to publish the minutes of its December monetary policy meeting.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to produce data on initial jobless claims.

Friday, January 15

The U.S. is to round up the week with reports on retail sales, industrial production and producer price inflation, as well as preliminary data on consumer sentiment.
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