Gold heads for fifth week of gains and silver jumps


01-Jul (Reuters) — Gold rose 1 percent on Friday and was heading for its fifth weekly gain, supported by a weaker dollar and prospects for further monetary policy easing in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Spot gold rose to a session high of $1,338 an ounce, and was 0.8 percent higher at $1,332.76 an ounce by 1155 GMT. The metal gained 8.8 percent in June, its biggest monthly rise since February.

Gold’s strength benefited silver, which breached the $19 an ounce level on Friday for the first time since September 2014. It rose as much as 3.8 percent to $19.40 and traded 2.6 percent higher at $19.18. Silver was on track for its best week since August 2013 having gained more than 8 percent so far.

“For gold, the initial reaction was safe-haven demand due to the uncertain political situation in Europe, but then the latest move might be more of a reaction to comments from central banks that they are moving to an easing bias,” Danske Bank senior analyst Jens Pedersen said.

“Near term, the pivotal moment for gold will be next Friday’s (U.S.) jobs report, because a decent print will at least remove the uncertainty about the state of the U.S. jobs market and the Fed’s decision to postpone any rate hike would be more about the external effect of the Brexit vote on the U.S. economy,” Pedersen said.

The dollar fell 0.4 percent against a basket of six currencies, while European stocks recovered on signs that central banks such as the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank will loosen monetary conditions even further.

Concerns about the global economy have made a U.S. rate rise in coming months less likely, analysts say, but much will depend on U.S. economic data and markets will be watching non-farm payrolls due on July 8 in particular for clues.

Low U.S. interest rates are positive for gold because the opportunity cost of holding it decreases and the dollar typically falls, making the metal cheaper.

Societe Generale raised its gold price forecasts on Thursday on concerns about the ongoing political, financial and economic fallout of Britain’s vote last week to leave the European Union.

“Looking ahead, it seems that gold will remain one of the major beneficiaries in the current backdrop, as heightened volatility and lingering uncertainty will keep investors’ risk
appetite in check,” the bank said in a note.

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