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Gold Dec '19 (GCZ19)

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Gold Futures Market News and Commentary

Precious Metals Close Higher on Middle East Tensions After Saudi Attack

Dec Comex gold (GCZ19) on Monday closed up +12.0 (+0.80%), and Dec silver (SIZ19) closed up +0.457 (+2.60%). Precious metals settled higher Monday as escalation of Middle East tensions boosted safe-haven demand for precious metals. Precious metals prices are also seeing support from weak Chinese economic data, which is dovish for global central bank policies. Middle East tensions ramped-up over the weekend after a drone attack on Saturday at Saudi Arabia's key Abqaiq oil processing facility shut down about half of Saudi Arabia's oil production. The U.S. may launch a military strike in retaliation for the attack after President Trump on Sunday said the U.S. is "locked and loaded depending on verification" that Iran staged the drone attack and that he's awaiting word from Saudi Arabia about who it believed caused the attack and "under what terms we will proceed." A spokesman for the Saudi-led Yemen coalition said Monday that the drone strikes did not originate in Yemen and that preliminary findings show that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities. Monday's weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data signals a slowdown in China's economy that may prompt the world's central banks to boost stimulus measures, which is positive for gold demand. China Aug industrial production rose by only +4.4% y/y, weaker than expectations of +5.2% y/y and the smallest increase in 17-1/2 years. Dovish comments from ECB policy makers were dovish for ECB policy after ECB Governing Council member Stournaras said Monday that "there are strong monetary, economic, and financial arguments" suggesting that new ECB President Lagarde will continue with ultra-loose policy when she takes office on November 1. Also, ECB Executive Board member Lane said Monday that the ECB has the scope to buy bonds as part of its monetary stimulus "for an extended period of time" before hitting self-imposed limits. Ongoing trade and geopolitical tensions, along with dovish central bank expectations, sparked fund buying of precious metals as long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 6-1/2 year high on Sep 6 and long silver positions in ETFs rose to a new record high Sep 2. More recently, however, fund liquidation reduced long gold positions in ETFs to a 2-week low last Friday and long silver positions in ETFs to a 1-month low last Friday.
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