Gold logs highest finish in over 6 years as China virus fears fuel market unease
Silver gives up earlier gains to follow industrial metals lower
Gold for February delivery on Comex gained $5.50, or nearly 0.4%, to settle at $1,577.40 an ounce, after hitting an intraday high at $1,588.40, after. It settled with a weekly gain of 0.7% on Friday.
The precious metal finished on Monday at the highest for a most-active futures contract since April 9, 2013, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index trading lower, supporting gains for the precious metal and bond prices, with the 10-year Treasury note yield, that moves in the opposite direction of bond prices, down at 1.608% from 1.68% late Friday.
At the start of this week, “the news is not good, with further fatalities reported [from the coronavirus] and increasing numbers of cases outside China,” said O’Connell. “Equity markets have now started to slide and safe haven assets are in demand.”
Prices for industrial metals, however, finished lower, on the potential for a slowdown in industrial metals demand.
Silver prices spent some time Monday following gold higher, but gave up those gains to move lower to follow its peers among industrial metals. March silver lost 5.7 cents, or 0.3%, at $18.056 an ounce.
March copper futures fell 8.75 cents, or 3.3%, at $2.5965 a pound. April platinum finished $18.90, or 1.9%, lower at $991.70 an ounce. March palladium dropped $142.70, or 6.2%, to $2,173.60 an ounce, extending its retreat to a third straight session after settling Wednesday at a fresh record.
“Platinum is joining with the industrial sector and giving back some recent gains,” said O’Connell. “The markets will be looking to assess the outlook for the Chinese auto sector and palladium, which was already correcting as demand slowed ahead of the Lunar New Year.”