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Gold prices decline as easing coronavirus lockdowns spark optimism


Gold prices traded lower Monday, with a cautiously optimistic tone for stocks denting haven-related demand for the yellow metal.

Gold for June delivery

on Comex fell $13.40, or 0.8%, to $1,722.20 an ounce, after posting a 2.2% weekly gain, and its fourth weekly rise in five weeks on Friday, according to FactSet data.

Meanwhile, May silver

lost 14.3 cents, or 0.9%, to $15.12 an ounce, following a weekly loss of 0.2%.

Still, bullish analysts contend that gold should remain supported even as lockdowns intended to limit the spread of the novel strain of coronavirus are rolled back, given uncertainty over the speed of a subsequent economic rebound.

“Even when the lockdown is lifted, the world will still be far from any kind of normality. In fact, the bigger risk then is economic collapse, as indicated by the disastrous economic indicators virtually everywhere,” said Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank in a note. “To counter this, governments around the globe are likely to continue spending unparalleled sums of money — most of which will be created by the central banks,” he wrote.

The states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska started loosening restrictions on businesses despite warnings from public-health experts that such moves could be premature. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will likely begin to reopen the economy in certain areas “with certain precautions after May 15.”

Children in Spain were allowed outdoors for the first time in six weeks if accompanied by an adult on Sunday and the government will allow Spaniards to leave their homes for walks and exercise starting May 2.

Italy and Belgium laid out plans to begin easing some restrictions on May 4, while France aims to begin easing its lockdown on May 11.

This week, investors are “keen to know what steps will be taken next by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

“For the ECB, it’s widely expected to raise its limits for asset purchases and continue to pressure Eurozone governments for further fiscal stimulus measures,” he said in a daily note. “We are also expecting to see further discussions related to creating a bad bank, which is clearly needed to confront the upcoming recession.”

Meanwhile, the Fed is “not likely to announce anything new” in its monetary policy statement due Wednesday.

However, “after successfully calming the markets with several unscheduled policy decisions, it is time to hear the FOMC’s outlook on the U.S. economy and what additional action can be taken if the situation deteriorates further,” said Sayed.

Elsewhere, May copper

fell by nearly a cent, or 0.3%, at $2.33 a pound, after the industrial metal produced weekly loss of 0.3% on Friday. July platinum

was down $5.30, or 0.7%, at $768.50 an ounce, following a weekly decline of 1.5% for the commodity. June palladium

headed $90.10, or 4.5%, lower at $1,895.20 an ounce, after finishing Friday with a weekly loss of 6.8%.

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