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Gold and Silver Edge Higher as Platinum Hits 16-Month High

The price of platinum hit a 16-month high on Wednesday before retreated slightly on Thursday and leveling off on Friday. Gold has moved higher in the weekly trading with a slightly move downward on Friday as the metal prepared to close nearly at the 200-day moving average.

As U.S. gold futures for April delivery gained $5.30 or 0.3 percent on Wednesday to close at $1,678.80 per troy ounce on the Comex Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the spot price of gold traded between $1,668.80 and $1,680.50 per troy ounce.

By Friday, prices remained just below the 200-day moving average, a key indicator for the gold price. By mid-afternoon Friday, the price of U.S. gold futures for April delivery were off just $2.80 or 0.17 percent to $1,668.50 per troy ounce. The spot price of gold was also off at a rate of $3.36 or 0.20 percent to $1,668.02 per troy ounce.

Jim Wyckoff in the PM Kitco Metals Roundup wrote gold prices ended the U.S. day session modestly higher Wednesday as some short covering and technically related buying by shorter-term traders was featured. He added that gold and silver traders and investors are still looking for some fresh fundamental news to drive their markets.

Many market participants felt that news would be fresh economic data out of China released on Friday. Though the data was upbeat, the reaction in markets was very muted, particularly in precious metals, leaving traders looking for the next major market influence.

That influence may turn out to be the European Union as new political instabilities and economic difficulties surfaced in headlines this week. A political scandal broke out in Spain and ties between Italian politicians and banking coupled with downbeat economic data out of Italy on Friday to contribute to expectations that the European Union financial crisis will once again be making more headlines and influencing markets. Higher awareness of the problems in the EU is generally beneficial for the precious metals markets as investors seek safe-haven assets and investments with less risk.

Though prices leveled out towards the end of the week, the performer is definitely platinum which has been anticipated to move higher based on supply concerns that have been manifesting since last summer when the largest producers of the precious metal in the world experienced labor unrest at their South African mines.

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