Gold, Metals Fail To Shine In 2017-18
A very mixed, month, quarter, half year and 12 months for the Aussie dollar, the greenback and commodity prices.
Oil starred with big gains (see separate story), and gold finished in the doghouse.
While Comex gold futures ended a four-day losing streak Friday with a small rise, they fell 1.3% for the week, 3.8% in the month of June and a 5.5% slide for the quarter and have slipped more than 4% for the six months to June 30. They fell 1% in 2017-18, according to FactSet figures.
August gold futures ended $US3.50 higher at $US1,254.50 an ounce on Friday, a gain of 0.3% for the day. That was after settling at $US1,251 an ounce on Thursday —the lowest for a most-active contract since last December.
Gold’s weakness in 2018 so far was worse than the Dow - down 1.1%, the S&P up 2.3%, and the Nasdaq has surged 9.3% on the back of steep gains in large-capitalization techs and nets.
Comex September silver rose futures rose 1% to end at $US16.20 an ounce on Friday for a weekly loss of 1.6%, a monthly drop of nearly 1.8%. Over 2017-19 silver futures prices fell slightly from $US16.63 an ounce on June 30 2017, and $US17.14 from the end of last December. That was a fall of 4.9%.
Comex September copper settled at $2.966 a pound. Most-active contracts prices were down 0.2% for the day, 3.1% lower for the month. Prices were up around 8% for the financial year, but are down around 11% year to date.
Meanwhile on the London metal Exchange, zinc prices slipped on Friday, ending their worst quarter since 2015 with investors sceptical of reports that Chinese smelters plan to cut output in response to weak prices.
Reuters reported that major Chinese smelters won’t be joining in any output cuts. As a result three month zinc fell 1.5% on the day to $US2,854 and closed the quarter down 12% - the worst performance since the third quarter of 2015.
Three-month LME copper ended up 0.1% at $US6,626 a tonne but closed the quarter down 1% after hitting four year plus highs above $US7,300 a tonne early in June.
LME nickel closed up 0.7% at $US14,890 a tonne, its best quarter since the December 2017 three months, while lead closed up 0.5% at $2,410, ending the quarter up 0.6% amid an environmental crackdown in China.
Tin closed up 0.8% at $US19,750, having touched its lowest since late December, while aluminium fell 1% at $US2,133, having touched its lowest since early April.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.