Gold prices rise to around $1,900 as metals look to final trade in December, 2020

Gold prices rise to around $1,900 as metals look to final trade in December, 2020

Futures for gold on Thursday were rising and on track to close out trading higher in a holiday-shortened week that will conclude the final session in 2020 for precious metals.

Commodity markets will be closed on Friday in observance of New Year’s Day.

Gold and silver futures were seeing modest gains in the face of a weakening U.S. dollar, which has been a feature for dollar-pegged currencies for the better part of 2020, helping underpin appetite for assets priced in bucks.

The U.S. dollar is down 0.7% for the week so far, off 2.4% in December, and down nearly 7% in 2020, capped by a 4.5% slide in the last three months of the year, FactSet data show, measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index

That decline toward a 2 1/2-year nadir for the currency has helped to foster gains in silver and gold even as stocks have staged a remarkable comeback from declines inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

That dynamic has helped gold toward its best annual gain in about 10 years.

February gold

was climbing $7.70, or 0.4%, to trade at around $1,901.10 an ounce, following a 0.6% gain on Wednesday.

Commodity markets held onto their gains after a report on U.S. employment showed that initial state jobless claims fell 19,000 to 787,000 during the Christmas week. That tally compares against average economists’ forecast of 835,000 surveyed by MarketWatch for the week ended Dec. 26 and 803,000 claims from last week.

Meanwhile, state continuing jobless claims drop 103,000 to 5.22 million

Silver futures for March delivery
 meanwhile, were picking up 2 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $26.60, after a 1.4% gain in the prior session.

For the week, gold is up 0.9%, and a 6.7% rise in December and a nearly 25% gain in the year to date, with gains slowed by a mere 0.3% rise in the last three months of 2020. The year’s gains thus far would mark the best return for the yellow metal since an almost 30% rise in 2010.

Silver futures were eyeing a 2.7% weekly climb, an almost 18% rise in December and an more than 48% annual advance, aided by a 13.2% surge in the fourth quarter. Silver’s gain are also on track for its best annual rise since 2010 when it rose almost 84%.

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