Spot gold surges to an all-time record above $1,900 an ounce early Monday on Comex, and silver hit a seven-year high, as the dollar tumbled.
The yellow metal touched $1,946.90 an ounce, taking out the record $1,921.17 for spot bullion set in 2011. The dollar fell to near a two-year low. A weaker dollar is typically bullish for precious metals.
The front-month gold futures contract, which rolled to December on Friday, gained 6.4% last week to settle at $1,925.20 an ounce on Comex. The December contract increased 0.4% Friday. Through last week, the front-month contract was up 6.9% in July. Currently, the August contract is $1,927.10, while the DG spot price is $1,937.90.
Silver futures climbed to $23.86 an ounce early Monday, shooting through the September 2013 high. September futures rose 16% last week to settle at $22.85 an ounce Friday on Comex. Silver slipped 0.6% Friday but was up 23% so far in July. Currently, the September contract is $24.295, while the DG spot price is $24.26.
Precious metals have gotten a boost in recent months from investors turning to them as a hedges against economic uncertainty amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic and rising tensions between the U.S. and China. Also bullish for gold are expectations that central banks will continue economic stimulus measures. U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers are set to meet this week.
The dispute between the U.S. and China ratcheted up last week after the U.S. ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston closed and Beijing responded by shuttering the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.
Meanwhile, the virus known as COVID-19 continued to worsen in the U.S., which has reported more than 1,000 deaths for four straight days. Local leaders including the mayors of Houston and Los Angeles have said a second stay-at-home order may be possible. News breaking this morning in the Wall Street Journal that search engine giant Google will now keep its approximately 200,000 employees working from home until at least next July.
The virus has killed almost 648,000 people worldwide and sickened 16.2 million. About 26% of the cases — and 23% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has 4.23 million cases, more than any other nation.
In economic news, the latest Fed decision on monetary policy is due out Wednesday, with a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Initial jobless claims are scheduled for Thursday. The weekly jobless rate rose to 1.416 million in the week ended July 18, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. It was the 18th week that claims topped 1 million and the first time in 16 weeks that the number has risen.
Spot palladium gained 11% last week to $2,284.90 an ounce after advancing 2.6% Friday. Spot platinum rallied 8.9% last week to $925.10 an ounce, even though it fell 0.6% Friday. The DG spot price for platinum is currently $938.30, while palladium is $2,379.80.
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