MTECHTIPS:-Gold / Silver / Copper futures – weekly outlook: January

MTECHTIPS:-Gold / Silver / Copper futures – weekly outlook: January 2 – 6

MTECHTIPS- Gold prices slid on Friday as investors took profits at the end of a year which saw bullion prices rise around 9%, snapping three years of declines. Gold for February delivery settled down 0.53% at $1,152.00 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were up around 9.8% for the year. Gold prices soared in the first half of 2016 as the Federal Reserve remained cautious on raising interest rates and prices of the precious metal hit a two-year peak in July as Britain’s vote to exit the European Union spurred a flight to safety. But gold prices fell almost 8% in November amid rising U.S. bond yields and a rally in stock markets on the back of expectations for ramped up fiscal spending under the incoming Trump administration. Gold prices tumbled to 10-month lows on December 15 after the Fed hiked interest rates and signaled that it expects to raise rates more quickly than previously anticipated in 2017. Higher rates boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors. Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise. Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was down 1.57% at $15.96 a troy ounce late Friday, but ended the year with gains of around 15%, the biggest annual increase since 2010. Copper was up 0.76% at $2.5 a pound and ended the year up around 19%. Palladium ended at $680.32 an ounce and rose more than 29% for the year, making it the best annual performer. Platinum was up 0.36% on the day at $905.65 an ounce and was up 4.38% for the year. In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. employment report for December along with Wednesday’s minutes of the Fed’s December meeting.