Metals Stocks: Gold holds above $1,800 as investors await inflation report

Gold inched higher in early trading on Tuesday, holding above the $1,800 per ounce level as the most-active contract continued to march higher after three consecutive weeks of gains.

Price action

Gold futures

expiring in December traded $2.40, or 0.1%, higher at $1,807.

Silver futures

expiring in September were off 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $20.60.

Palladium futures

expiring in September were down $51, or 2.3%, to $2,190.50 per ounce, while platinum futures

expiring in October fell $1, or 0.1%, to $937 per ounce.

Copper futures

expiring in September gained 1 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.592 per pound.

What analysts are saying

Following months of weakness, the yellow metal has held up remarkably well since Friday’s surprisingly strong U.S. employment report, which showed the U.S. economy had added more than 500,000 jobs during the month of June, nearly doubling Wall Street’s expectations. The number of people working finally returned to February 2020 levels — the last month before the pandemic descended on the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Following a brief pullback after the jobs data were released Friday morning, gold prices swung higher, defying a jump in Treasury yields

and the U.S. dollar
as well as Fed funds futures, which are now pricing in a high likelihood of a 75 basis point interest rate hike at the Federal Reserve’s September meeting. Gold also traded higher on Monday even as U.S. stocks finished mostly lower, with the S&P 500

down for its third straight session. Although gold has rebounded sharply over the past month, it has yet to recoup all of its losses since the start of 2022.

A team of analysts at Commerzbank attributed gold’s three-week winning streak to the heavy short positioning in gold and silver — along with platinum and palladium — during the month of July. Since then, investors have substantially reduced their short positions.

Precious metals traders are looking ahead to Wednesday’s U.S. consumer-price index reading for the month of July. Economists polled by FactSet generally expect the pace of price increases to cool slightly to 8.7% after reaching a four-decade high of 9.1% on an annualized basis during June.

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