Gold and silver suffer on Thursday after a stream of positive U.S data fuels a return to risk-on sentiment in the commodities markets.
Mid-morning in the U.S., gold futures (April 14 delivery) are down 3.30 points (0.24%) at 1,367.30. Similarly, silver futures (May 14 delivery) are down 0.125 points (0.59%) at 21.225. The decline comes as the U.S. reports a fall in continuing jobless claims of 2,855K versus expectations of 2,900K; higher than expected growth in core retail sales (MoM), at 0.3% versus a forecast of 0.2%; lower than expected initial jobless claims of 315K versus a forecast of 330K; and better than expected non-core retail sales growth of 0.3% versus a forecast 0.2%.
Copper futures (May 14 delivery) are up slightly from the day’s open, though remain below $3 at 2.968. The Chinese economy continues to weigh down the industrial metal, after data released early Thursday morning reinforced investor concerns of a Chinese economic slowdown. The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported slowing growth in fixed asset investment at 17.9%, and lower than expected industrial production growth at 8.6%, versus a forecast of 9.5%.**relatedarticle**
Elsewhere, crude oil futures (April 14 delivery) remain relatively flat, currently trading at 98.06, a small 0.09% gain on the day’s open. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday that inventories grew 6.2M barrels in the week ended March 7, outstripping expectations of a 2.2M rise. The excess supply could weigh on the price of crude oil heading into the weekend.
Natural gas futures (April 14 delivery) are also down, currently trading at 4.417, a 1.63% discount on the day’s open. Traditionally, spring and autumn serves up the lowest demand for the fuel as consumers require neither heating nor air conditioning. Investors’ prediction that the start of spring is just around the corner, therefore, will likely weigh on the price of natural gas contracts throughout the rest of this, and into early next, week.
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