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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - Weekly review: September 9 - 13

CommoditiesSep 15, 2013 06:56AM ET
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Investing.com - Gold futures bounced off a five-week low on Friday to end the session little changed, as weaker-than-forecast U.S. retail sales data fuelled uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve will start to taper its bond-buying program at its upcoming policy meeting.

The central bank is scheduled to meet September 17-18 to review the economy and assess policy.

Moves in the gold price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the U.S. central bank would end its quantitative easing program sooner-than-expected.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery shed 0.35% on Friday to settle the week at USD1,326.10 a troy ounce.

Gold futures fell by as much as 1.9% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD1,304.80 a troy ounce, the weakest level since August 8. The December contract settled 2.45% lower at USD1,330.60 a troy ounce on Thursday.

Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,304.80 a troy ounce, Friday’s low and resistance at USD1,365.70, the high from September 12.

For the week, gold prices lost 4.7%, the biggest weekly decline since June, as traders sold the precious metal amid ongoing expectations the Fed will decide to begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program next week.

Some technical selling also contributed to gold’s weekly decline after prices broke below key support levels on Thursday, triggering a flurry of automatic sell orders amid bearish chart signals.

Gold prices rebounded off a five-week low on Friday after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.2% in in August, below expectations for a 0.4% increase.

A separate report showed that the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to a five month low of 76.8, from a final reading of 82.1 in August.

The reports came a week after the latest U.S. employment report showed that the economy added slightly fewer jobs than expected in August.

The disappointing data saw investors reassess expectations over the timing of a pullback in the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program.

Gold traders have closely been looking out for U.S. data reports recently to gauge if they will strengthen or weaken the case for the Fed to reduce its bond purchases.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has said that the decision to begin tapering will depend on whether economic data is strong enough.

In the week ahead, investors will be keenly anticipating the outcome of the Fed’s policy-setting meeting on Wednesday, and a press conference with Fed chief Ben Bernanke will be closely watched.

The precious metal is on track to post a loss of nearly 22% on the year as traders bet an improving U.S. economy would lead the Fed to unwind its stimulus program by the year's end.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for December delivery inched up 0.4% on Friday to settle the week at USD22.24 a troy ounce.

Despite Friday’s modest gains, silver future prices plunged 6.85% on the week.

Meanwhile, copper for December delivery tacked on 0.35% on Friday to close the week at USD3.221 a pound. Prices of the red metal declined 1.2% on the week.

Gold / Silver / Copper futures - Weekly review: September 9 - 13
 

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