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Gold Jun '18 (GCM18)

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Gold Futures Market News and Commentary

Precious Metals Close Mixed As Pre-Weekend Selling Offsets Safe-Haven

Aug Comex gold (GCQ19) on Friday closed +0.8 (+0.06%) and July silver closed -0.089 (-0.60%). Aug gold on Friday posted a 14-month high but then fell back to close little changed. July silver is consolidating below last Friday's 9-week high. Precious metals prices traded higher early in the day on US/Iran tensions but then fell back on pre-weekend long liquidation pressure and slightly reduced Fed-easing expectations. Precious metals prices on Friday saw support from US/Iran tensions after the U.S. Central Command late Thursday released a video that it said showed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from the hull of the Kokuka Courageous tanker after that tanker had been damaged by another mine. President Trump on Friday squarely blamed Iran for the attack and vowed that Iran will not be allowed to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil-tanker traffic. Precious metals prices Friday were undercut by slightly reduced Fed-easing expectations after Friday's solid U.S. retail sales report of +0.5% m/m. Industrial metals prices received a boost from Friday's U.S. May industrial production report of +0.4% m/m, stronger than expectations of +0.2%, but were undercut by the earlier Chinese May industrial production of +5.0% y/y, which was the weakest report since 2002. Ongoing trade and geopolitical tensions, along with stock market volatility, have sparked fund buying of precious metals as long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 3-1/2 month high on Thursday and long silver positions in ETFs rose to a new 4-week high on Thursday. Big Picture Gold-Silver Market Factors: Bullish factors include (1) increased expectations for Fed easing through 2020 and an 80% probability for a Fed rate cut at the July 30-31 FOMC meeting, (2) low U.S. inflation that is dovish for Fed policy after U.S. Q1 GDP data showed that the Q1 core PCE deflator rose by only +1.3%, below the Fed's 2.0% target and the smallest pace of increase since Q2 2017, (3) expansive Bank of Japan and European Central Bank monetary policies, with the ECB extending its record low interest rates until at least June of 2020, (4) an easier monetary policy by China's central bank, which cut the bank required reserve requirement ratio by 100 bp on Jan 4, and (5) safe-haven demand due to trade tensions, stock market volatility, Brexit, and global geopolitical risks involving Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. Bearish factors include (1) the recent rally in the dollar index to a 2-year high, and (2) tighter dollar liquidity as the Fed draws down its balance sheet.
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