Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: December 1 - 5

Posted on at - Gold prices tumbled to a two-week low on Friday, as a steep decline in global oil prices and a broadly stronger U.S. dollar dampened the appeal of the precious metal. 

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery touched a session low of $1,164.00 a troy ounce, the weakest level November 14, before settling at $1,175.50 by close of trade, down $22.00, or 1.84%.

On the week, gold prices declined $22.20, or 1.85%, the first weekly loss in three weeks.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,146.00, the low from November 14, and resistance at $1,193.30, the high from November 28.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery sank $1.05, or 6.32%, on Friday to settle the week at $15.55 a troy ounce by close of trade. 

The March silver futures contract lost 84.0 cents, or 5.12%, on the week, halting two straight weeks of advances.

The precious metals complex sold off as oil prices tumbled following Thursday’s decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep production quotas unchanged, fuelling fears over a global supply glut.

London-traded Brent prices lost $2.43, or 3.35%, to settle at $70.15 a barrel on Friday, while New York-traded crude futures plummeted $7.54, or 10.23%, to close at $66.15 a barrel.

Lower oil prices tend to weigh on gold as it dampens its appeal as a hedge against oil-led inflation.

The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.45% to 88.41 late Friday, not far from the four-year highs of 88.52 set earlier in the week.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Markets were jittery ahead of an upcoming Swiss referendum on central bank gold reserves for more trading cues.

Swiss voters are set to go to the polls on November 30 to decide whether the Swiss National Bank would have to hold at least 20% of its assets in the precious metal, up from 8% now.

The most-recent opinion poll released last week showed that support for the "Save our Swiss gold" proposal slipped to 38%, down from 44% in a survey conducted last month.

The motion, if passed, would likely boost gold prices from current levels.

Gold prices are likely to remain vulnerable in the near-term amid indications a strengthening U.S. economic recovery will force the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates sooner and faster than previously thought.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

In the week ahead, the U.S. is to release the U.S. jobs report for November on Friday as market players attempt to gauge the strength of the world's biggest economy and its impact on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery plunged 11.2 cents, or 3.79%, on Friday to settle at $2.844 a pound by a close of trade.

Prices hit a session low of $2.843 earlier in the day, a level not seen since June 2010.

Comex copper prices lost 18.7 cents, or 6.16%, on the week, amid ongoing concerns over the health of the global economy.

Copper is sensitive to the economic growth outlook because of its widespread uses across industries.

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