Gold prices gain slightly in Asia with focus on U.S. jobs data
Gold inched higher in Asia on Thursday with investors looking ahead to end of the week data from the U.S. that should set the tone for a Federal Reserve rate hike this month. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile exchange, gold for February rose 0.10% to $1,053.40 a troy ounce.
Silver for March delivery rose 0.14% to $14.010 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery rose 0.04% to $2.045 a pound. Overnight, gold futures fell to fresh six-year lows on Wednesday, as relatively hawkish comments from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and the release of optimistic employment data pushed the dollar to a yearly-high and augmented the case for a short-term interest rate hike by the U.S. central bank in two weeks.
NYMEX crude dips in Asia with OPEC meeting on Friday a focus
Crude oil prices dipped in Asia with a series of high-profile events ahead, including an OPEC meeting on Friday where the outlook for prices will be a focus.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for January delivery fell 0.12% to $40.16 a barrel. When OPEC meets on Friday in Vienna, the world's largest oil cartel is largely expected to leave its production ceiling unchanged above 30 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia, though, is reportedly facing mounting pressure to slash output from a host of smaller OPEC members, which have struggled economically since the start of the downturn. Also on Friday, data on rig counts in the U.S. from Baker Hughes Incorporated (N:BHI) will be released.
Overnight, crude futures fell by more than 4% on Wednesday ahead of potentially the most contentious OPEC meeting in years, as U.S. crude stockpiles continued their steady move upward last week providing few signals of a rebalancing of the supply-demand equilibrium in domestic markets.
On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for January delivery wavered between $42.59 and $44.62 a barrel before closing at $42.46, down 1.98 or 4.46% on the day.
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