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Gold Apr '17 (GCJ17)

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Gold Futures Market News and Commentary

Precious Metals Rally on a Dovish Fed

Apr Comex gold (GCJ19) on Thursday closed up +5.6 (+0.43%) and May silver (SIK19) closed up +0.119 (+0.78%). A dovish FOMC meeting Wednesday spurred fund buying of precious metals Thursday with Apr gold at a 3-week high and May silver at a 2-1/2 week high. The FOMC members cut their Fed-dot median forecast to zero rate hikes in 2019 from two hikes and announced that it would start tapering its balance sheet drawdown program in May and complete the drawdown by September, which was earlier than expectations of a completion of the drawdown by December. Brexit concerns also boosted safe-haven demand for precious metals after GBP/USD slid to a 1-1/2 week low Thursday as pressure builds on UK Prime Minister May to find support in the UK Parliament for her Brexit deal. She asked the European Union for a 3-month extension to June 30 from the current March 29 deadline, but the EU is refusing to allow a short-term extension past the EU elections that begin on May 23. Finally, stronger-than-expected U.S economic data was positive for industrial metals demand after weekly initial unemployment claims fell -9,000 to a 1-month low of 221,000, stronger than expectations of -4,000 to 225,000, and the Mar Philadelphia Fed business outlook index rose +17.8 to 13.7, stronger than expectations of +8.9 to 4.8. Fund buying of metals is a supportive factor as long silver positions in ETFs climbed to a 1-month high Wednesday and long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 2-1/2 week high Monday. Metals prices fell back from their best levels Thursday after the dollar and stocks both moved higher.
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