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Commodities Trading Outlook: Gold, silver and copper futures

Copper and gold futures headed for a weekly gain as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting curbed expectations for higher interest rates in the US, while tension in Ukraine persisted. Silver futures were also poised for a second weekly advance.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, copper futures for settlement in May traded at $3.063 a pound by 11:35 GMT, adding 0.57% for the day. Prices shifted in a daily range between $3.072, the strongest since March 9, and $3.026 a pound. The metal headed for a 1.4% gain this week, after plunging 0.6 percent in the previous 5-day period.

Demand for the red metal was supported this week after minutes of FOMC’s latest meeting revealed some of its own members played down forecasts that interest rates might be raised faster than previously estimated.

According to the release, “several participants noted that the increase in the median projection overstated the shift in the projections. Some expressed concern the rate forecasts could be misconstrued as indicating a move by the committee to a less accommodative reaction function.

A weaker dollar supported copper prices, boosted by FOMCs March meeting minutes. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance against a basket of six major counterparts, traded little changed at 79.50 by 11:19 GMT, up 0.02% on the day. The June contract fell to a four-week low of 79.39 yesterday and is down 1.3% on weekly basis, the most since September 2013. Weakening of the greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for foreign currency holders and boosts their appeal as an alternative investment.

Copper and gold rose this week, after pro-Russian protesters seized control of government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities, which forced Kiev’s authorities to sent security forces to restore order.

Meanwhile, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for settlement in June rose by 0.2% to trade at $ 1 323.10 an ounce by 11:36 GMT. Prices shifted in a daily range between $1 323.50 an ounce and $1 314.40 an ounce. Yesterday, the contract touched $ 1 324.90 an ounce, the strongest since March 24. The precious metal is 1.5% up this week, after gaining 0.6% in the previous five-day period.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery traded little changed at $20.075 an ounce by 11:36 GMT, heading for 0.7% weekly advance. Yesterday the precious metal touched a three-week high of $20.388 an ounce. Platinum futures for July delivery added 0.1 percent to trade at $1 461.35 an ounce, after hitting $1 464.60, the strongest since March 19. Palladium futures for June delivery traded at $795.40 an ounce, gaining 0.4 percent. The metal has touched $802.40 an ounce, the strongest since July 2010, amid concern more sanctions by the US and the EU on Russia and a strike at South African mines may reduce supplies. The two countries are the biggest producers of palladium.

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