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Silver May '17 (SIK17)

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Silver Futures Market News and Commentary

Precious Metals Recover and Settle Higher on Middle East Tensions

Dec Comex gold (GCZ19) on Tuesday closed up +1.9 (+0.13%), and Dec silver (SIZ19) closed up +0.114 (+0.63%). Precious metals recovered early losses Tuesday and moved higher on a weak dollar and heightened Middle East tensions that sparked safe-haven demand for precious metals. Heightened geopolitical risks about a possible U.S. military strike against Iran boosted safe-haven demand for gold after CBS reported Tuesday that the U.S. has identified the exact locations in Iran where more than 20 drones and cruise missiles were launched in Saturday's attack on Saudi oil facilities. Also, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Tuesday that Iran will not negotiate with the U.S. "on any level." Metals prices also moved higher Tuesday on expectations for the Fed on Wednesday to cut the fed funds target range by -25 bp to 1.75%-2.00%. Global economic data on Tuesday was hawkish for central bank policies and negative for gold prices after U.S. Aug manufacturing production rose +0.5%, which was much stronger than expectations of +0.2%. Also, Aug industrial production rose +0.6%, stronger than expectations of +0.2% and the biggest increase in a year. Meanwhile, the German Sep ZEW survey expectations of economic growth index rose sharply by +21.6 to -22.5, stronger than expectations of +6.1 to -38.0. Increased trade optimism was another negative factor for precious metals after China's Ministry of Commerce said late Monday that Chinese working-level trade officials are scheduled to travel to the U.S. this week to prepare for a meeting of top negotiators next month. 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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