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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: May 18 - 22

CommoditiesMay 17, 2015 08:09AM ET
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Gold futures rise for third straight week - Gold prices pared back early losses to finish almost unchanged for the day on Friday after a fresh round of disappointing U.S. economic data sent the dollar broadly lower.

Gold futures for June delivery closed at $1,223.6 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, off lows of $1,210.6. For the week, the contract rose 3.06%, the largest weekly percentage gain since January.

The drop in the dollar came after data showed that U.S. industrial production fell for the fifth straight month in April and another report showed that U.S. consumer sentiment deteriorated to a seven month low this month.

The Federal Reserve said industrial output slid 0.3% after a revised 0.3% decline in March. Economists had expected an increase of 0.1%.

The University of Michigan's preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index for May came in at 88.6, down from a final April reading of 95.9 and worse than forecasts for a reading of 96.0

The reports came after disappointing data on retail sales and producer inflation earlier in the week and dampened hopes for a second quarter rebound after a sharp slowdown in growth in the first three months of the year.

The data underlined expectations that the Federal Reserve will delay hiking interest rates until the economy is on a stronger footing.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at four-month lows of 93.29 late Friday. The index ended the week down 1.8%. It was fifth consecutive weekly decline, marking the longest period of declines in four years.

Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Meanwhile, an industry report released on Thursday showed that global gold demand decreased 1% in the first three months of the year as growth in Indian jewelry buying failed to completely offset declining Chinese demand.

The World Gold Council said demand totaled 1,079.3 metric tons in the first quarter, down from 1,090 tons in the first three months of 2014.

The industry group also said that the first quarter was the first time since 2012 that gold demand by exchange traded funds showed net buying, totaling 25.7 tones.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for July delivery ended Friday's session at $17.49 a troy ounce. Silver surged 6.67% on the week, the third consecutive weekly advance.

Copper for July delivery ended at $2.930 a pound late Friday and was up just 0.14% for the week.

In the week ahead investors will be turning their attention to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve minutes for clues on the possible timing of a rate increase. Friday’s data on U.S. inflation will also be closely watched.

Meanwhile, the euro zone is to release data on private sector activity and China is to publish preliminary data on manufacturing activity.

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

Monday, May 18

Japan is to publish a report on core machinery orders.

Switzerland is to release a report on retail sales.

Markets in Canada will be closed for the Patriots day holiday.

Tuesday, May 19

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.

New Zealand is to publish data on inflation expectations.

The U.K. is to release data on consumer price inflation.

In the euro zone, the ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

Later Monday, the U.S. is to publish data on building permits and housing starts.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event; his comments will be closely watched.

Wednesday, May 20

Japan is to release preliminary data on first quarter economic growth.

Australia is to publish a report on consumer sentiment.

The Bank of England is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.

Canada is to publish a report on wholesale sales.

The Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its most recent monetary policy meeting.

Thursday, May 21

China is to publish preliminary reading of the HSBC manufacturing index.

The euro zone is to publish reports on private sector activity. The ECB is to publish its meeting minutes later in the day.

The U.K. is to produce data on retail sales and industrial order expectations.

The U.S. is to release a string of reports including initial jobless claims, existing home sales and a look at manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Friday, May 22

The Bank of Japan is to announce its monetary policy decision and hold a press conference following the announcement.

In the euro zone, the Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The U.K. is to release data on public sector borrowing.

ECB President Mario Draghi and BoE Governor Mark Carney are both to speak at an event in Portugal; their comments will be closely watched.

Canada is to release data on consumer inflation and retail sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on consumer inflation.

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: May 18 - 22

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