Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: September 14 - 18
Investing.com - Gold futures slumped to the lowest level in more than four weeks on Friday, amid ongoing uncertainty about whether the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates when it meets next week.
Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $6.00, or 0.54%, to end the week at $1,103.30 a troy ounce. Prices hit an intraday low of $1,097.70, the weakest level since August 11.
For the week, gold prices dropped $16.30, or 1.53%, the third straight weekly loss, as investors scaled back long positions ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated policy meeting on September 16-17.
The timing of a Fed rate hike has been a constant source of debate in the markets in recent months.
Investors are mixed over whether the U.S. central bank will hike rates at its meeting next Wednesday and Thursday.
Some traders believe the Fed could postpone raising interest rates this month, as officials are likely to remain concerned over volatility in financial markets due to fears over a China-led global economic slowdown.
Gold fell to a five-and-a-half year low of $1,072.30 on July 24 amid speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 at some point this year.
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 December delivery declined 14.0 cents, or 0.96%, on Friday to settle at $14.50 a troy ounce by close of trade. On the week, silver futures inched down 14.0 cents, or 0.37%.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for December delivery tacked on 0.6 cents, or 0.27%, on Friday to settle at $2.453 a pound. On Thursday, futures rallied to $2.472, the highest level since July 21.
For the week, copper prices surged 13.6 cents, or 6.12%, as a fresh batch of disappointing Chinese economic data reinforced views that policymakers in Beijing will have to roll out more support measures for the world's second largest economy.
Data released Sunday showed that China's industrial production increased at an annual rate of 6.1% in August, disappointing expectations for a 6.4% gain.
A separate report showed that fixed asset investment also fell short of forecasts, indicating that China needs to act to prevent a further slowdown in the economy.
Prices of the red metal sank to a six-year low of $2.202 on August 24 as concerns over slowing growth in China and steep declines on Chinese stock markets dampened appetite for the red metal.
The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
In the week ahead investors will be eyeing Thursday's critical Fed policy announcement. Key U.S. data on inflation and retail sales ahead of the Fed's decision will also be in focus.
Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Monday and Friday as there is no relevant data on these dates.
Tuesday, September 15
The U.S. is to publish data on retail sales, industrial production and manufacturing activity in the New York region.
Wednesday, September 16
The U.S. is to publish figures on consumer price inflation.
Thursday, September 17
The U.S. is to release reports on jobless claims, building permits and housing starts, and manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.
Later in the day, the Federal Reserve is to announce its latest monetary policy decision at the conclusion of its two day meeting.
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