Commodities trading outlook: gold, silver and copper futures

Gold and silver futures climbed during midday trade in Europe today, ahead of Wall Street opening this weeks last session. US stocks climbed again on Thursday, logging at or near record levels. Meanwhile, copper futures were steady, after surge on Thursday.

Gold futures for August delivery stood at $1 294.5 per troy ounce at 13:09 GMT in New York today, up 0.29%. Prices ranged from $1 291.0 to $1 296.5 per troy ounce. The contract lost 1.07% yesterday, and was down about 1.4% for the week.

Meanwhile, silver contracts for September delivery traded at $20.515 per troy ounce, up 0.49%, daily low and high at $20.350 and $20.545 per troy ounce, respectively. The contract dropped 2.76% on Thursday, and was down 2.2% for the week.

New York platinum had added 0.20% for $1 470.60 per troy ounce, while palladium had gained 0.72% and was at $877.22, both metals headed for weekly losses.

US economy

Durable goods orders for June were reported today, revealing a better-than-expected result, with a 0.7% monthly overall growth, and a 0.8% monthly gain for core goods, which exclude transportation items.

The US posted several key readings yesterday. Initial jobless claims for the week ended July 19 were reported at 284 000, reaching an eight-year low, boosting sentiment for the US ahead of payrolls and unemployment data next week.

Factories expanded slightly slower than before, but offered plenty positive vibes for the US as well.

Stocks, dollar

US stocks saw calm trade yesterday, and remained at record or near-record levels. S&P 500 added 0.05% as trading on Wall Street closed on Thursday, logging a new record-high of 1 991.60. Dow 30 dropped 0.02%, while Nasdaq 100 lost 0.08%, though it also reached an all-time high of 3 997.00.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s performance against six other major currencies, added 0.05% on Thursday and was up about 0.5% for the week. At 13:08 GMT today the gauge was up 0.18% at 81.09, boosted by the orders data.

Meanwhile, assets at the SPDR gold fund dropped to a two-week low of 801.84, losing about 4 tons on Thursday.

Copper

Copper futures for September traded at $3.2655 per pound, down 0.03%. Prices ranged from $3.2515 to $3.2790 per pound. The contract added 1.86% on Thursday, and was up about 2.5% for the week.

“We had a good day yesterday on the back of Chinese PMI data, which boosted all the base metals. Today is about consolidating gains for copper,” said Vivienne Lloyd, base metals analyst at Macquarie, said for Reuters. “Copper had a strong day yesterday but is more muted today. Its encountering resistance and Im not sure the fundamentals are strong enough to push it through.”

HSBC posted its preliminary reading on Chinese manufacturing PMI for July yesterday, to reveal a confident stance for the world’s top copper-consuming economy. The figure was logged at 52.0, well ahead of expected 51.0 and the highest standing in 18 months. Anything above 50 is read for an expanding sector, and anything below means contraction, with the higher the margin from 50, the greater the pace of either expansion or contraction.

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