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Friday, 14. June 2024

Gold and Copper Prices Retreat Amid Rate Jitters and Speculative Pause

3angleFX

In Asian trading on Wednesday, gold prices experienced a decline, stepping further away from recent record highs as concerns regarding elevated U.S. interest rates intensified ahead of forthcoming signals from the Federal Reserve.

The downturn extended to industrial metals, with copper prices also retracting from recent peaks as speculative fervor surrounding the red metal cooled in anticipation of additional insights into physical supply and overall demand.

Factors Influencing the Market

A stable dollar exerted downward pressure on metal prices, while the allure of gold as a safe haven diminished amidst limited indications of escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, following the tragic death of the Iranian President in a helicopter crash.

Spot gold dipped 0.2% to $2,415.61 per ounce, while gold futures expiring in June slipped 0.3% to $2,418.75 per ounce by 00:23 ET (04:23 GMT). Despite the decline, spot prices remained within proximity of their recent peak at $2,450.06 per ounce.

Impact of Fed Minutes and Rate Concerns

Attention shifted to the release of the minutes from the Fed’s late-April meeting, scheduled for later on Wednesday, as investors sought further guidance from the central bank.

During the meeting, the Fed maintained interest rates at their current levels, although Chair Jerome Powell hinted at the possibility of rate cuts in 2024. Traders are eager to ascertain whether this sentiment was unanimous among all Fed officials, particularly amidst persistent inflationary pressures.

While several Fed officials cautioned about the need for greater confidence in declining inflation before considering rate adjustments, their remarks bolstered the dollar and weighed on high-risk, non-yielding assets.

Precious Metals and Copper Market Activity

The environment of elevated rates posed challenges for gold, given its non-yielding nature, despite earlier gains driven by safe haven demand amid geopolitical uncertainties. Conversely, the retreat in Middle East tensions rendered gold susceptible to rate pressures.

In tandem with gold, other precious metals also experienced declines on Wednesday. Platinum futures dropped 0.4% to $1,058.35 per ounce, while silver futures fell 0.4% to $31.950 per ounce. Silver prices had surged to 12-year highs earlier in the week, but the rally now showed signs of moderation. Platinum prices were also nearing a one-year high.

Copper Market Dynamics

Benchmark copper futures on the London Metal Exchange recorded a 0.9% decline to $10,730.0 per ton on Wednesday, while one-month U.S. copper futures fell 0.8% to $5.0595 per pound. Both contracts retreated from recent record highs established earlier in the week.

Speculative fervor, particularly evident in a short squeeze on the Comex exchange driving copper’s recent rally, appeared to have paused. Traders awaited clarity on whether physical copper supplies could meet demand requirements.

Conclusion

While gold and copper prices experienced retreats amid rate jitters and a temporary pause in speculative activity, market dynamics remain influenced by evolving economic indicators and geopolitical developments. Attention remains focused on signals from the Federal Reserve and China’s stimulus measures, shaping sentiments in the metal markets moving forward.

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