Gold prices gain modestly in Asia as global economic outlook dims
Gold prices rose modestly in Asia on Friday with investors noting an overall soft global economy spurring easy monetary policies that are likely to remain in place for some time. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for February delivery rose 0.13% to $1,099.90 a troy ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 0.17% to $14.060 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery gained 0.13% to $1.997 a pound.Overnight, gold fell sharply erasing most of its gains from the previous session's rally, as the dollar soared on Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi indicated that further easing measures could be forthcoming when the Governing Council meets again in March.
NYMEX crude gains in Asia on bargain hunting
Crude oil prices gained in Asia on Friday, following the U.S> market as investors looked for bargains. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for March delivery rose 1.19% to $29.68 a barrel. Ahead, rig count data from Baker Hughes will set the tone in the U.S. market.
Overnight, crude futures surged more than 5% on Thursday, bouncing from near 12-year lows as dovish comments from Mario Draghi on the possibility of further easing measures from the European Central Bank helped rally global equities, providing energy traders with an opportunity to cover record short positions. Previously, WTI crude had tumbled more than 20% in 2016 amid further signals of a widening gulf between worldwide supply and demand, as Iranian exports return to global markets. On the Intercontinental Exchange, Brent crude for March delivery wavered between $27.30 and $29.82 a barrel, before closing at $29.27, up 1.39 or 4.91% on the session. At session highs, North Sea brent crude futures surged more than 6% on the day. Meanwhile, the spread between the U.S. and international benchmarks of crude stood at 0.30, below Wednesday's level of 0.80 at the close.
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