WEEKLY BULLION REPORT-11 May To 16 May 2015
Gold prices ended Friday's session at a six-week low as traders monitored the direction of the dollar while speculating on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate hike. On the COMEX, division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery hit an intraday low of $1,168.40 a troy ounce, a level not seen since March 19, before ending at $1,174.50, down $7.90, or 0.67%. On Thursday, gold plunged $27.60, or 2.28%, to settle at $1,182.40. For the week, prices of the precious metal declined 50 cents, or 0.04%, the third straight weekly loss. Futures were likely to find support at $1,159.70, the low from March 19, and resistance at $1,214.60, the high from April 28. Gold rallied to a three-week peak of $1,214.60 on Tuesday as concerns over the U.S. economic recovery prompted investors to push back expectations for higher U.S. interest rates.
Silver futures for July delivery ended Friday's session at $16.13 a troy ounce, down 1.8 cents, or 0.11%. A day earlier, silver plummeted 54.9 cents, or 3.29%, to close at $16.15. Despite Friday's losses, silver gained 39.5 cents, or 2.9%, on the week, snapping four consecutive weeks of losses. Since November, the People's Bank of China has introduced a series of stimulus measures, including lowering interest rates twice and cutting the reserve requirement ratios of major banks twice, in order to spur economic activity and boost growth.
Copper for July delivery tacked on 4.3 cents, or 1.49%, on Friday to settle at $2.929 after hitting an intraday peak of $2.937, the most since December 15. For the week, copper prices rallied 17.8 cents, or 6.39%, amid mounting speculation policymakers in China will have to introduce further stimulus measures to jumpstart the economy amid lackluster growth. Since November, the People's Bank of China has introduced a series of stimulus measures, including lowering interest rates twice and cutting the reserve requirement ratios of major banks twice, in order to spur economic activity and boost growth. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
Crude oil futures rose to the highest levels of the year on Friday, before turning modestly lower as investors cashed out of the market to lock in gains from a recent rally. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in June hit an intraday high of $59.90 a barrel, the most since December 11, before closing at $59.15, down 48 cents, or 0.8%. On the week, New York-traded oil prices increased $1.85, or 3.5%, the fifth weekly gain in the past six weeks. U.S. oil futures rose almost 21% in April due to mounting expectations that U.S. shale oil production has peaked and may start falling in the coming months amid an ongoing collapse in rigs drilling for oil. Total U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.9 million barrels last week to 490.9 million barrels, the most in at least 80 years, even as drilling activity fell.
Natural gas futures rallied to a five-week high on Friday, as forecasts for warmer weather across the U.S. in the week ahead lifted near-term demand expectations for the fuel. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, natural gas for delivery in June hit an intraday peak of $2.800 per million British thermal units, the strongest level since March 25, before ending the week at $2.776, up 2.5 cents, or 0.91%. On Thursday, natural gas surged 14.5 cents, or 5.56%, to end at $2.751. For the week, the June natural gas contract jumped 6.1 cents, or 8.1%. Futures were likely to find support at $2.557 per million British thermal units, the low from April 30, and resistance at $2.812, the high from March 25.Updated weather forecasting models called for warmer-than-average weather over much of the Midwest and Northeast, as well as the South in the first two weeks of May, which was likely to boost cooling demand. Approximately 49% of U.S. households use natural gas for heating, according to the Energy Department.
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