Amid thin trading, gold prices swung between small gains and losses during Asian trading hours on Friday. Steadier equity markets following strong trade data from China, bargain haunting along with weaker U.S. dollar helped metal to recover some of the lost ground on Friday. Silver prices, meanwhile, edged higher in early trading on Friday.
At around 6:30 a.m. EST, gold futures for April delivery slipped 0.04% to trade at $1,670.80 an ounce while spot gold was almost flat at $$1,670.34 an ounce.
Earlier on Thursday gold futures swung wildly in the larger range of $20 an ounce to settle 0.5% lower at $1,671.30 an ounce. The sell-off pressure came when the European Central Bank’s President Mario Draghi , said in a press conference that euro zone economy, although looking well on course to pick up the momentum from the second half of 2013, was susceptible to some headwinds. The remarks immediately weighed on the euro which slumped nearly 1% against the U.S. dollar while other riskier assets such as equities, other precious metals and commodities along with safe haven asset bullion -- fell in tandem as market participants feared possible recession.
However, bullion received support from weaker U.S. dollar on Friday. The greenback slipped against most widely traded currencies on Friday. The WSJ$ Index was falling 0.44%, at last check. Typically, a weaker dollar pushes the demand for dollar-dominated commodities since holders of other currencies find them cheaper to buy.
A better than expected Chinese trade data for the month of January also helped to alleviate investors’ concerns over possible deceleration in the global economy.
Meanwhile platinum group metals continued to extend losses on Friday. Both metals have rallied so far this year thanks to improving outlook on the global industrial production. Platinum and palladium are used as auto-catalysts.
Silver futures gained 0.39% to $31.525 an ounce.
In pre-market trading, the iShares Silver Trust (ETF) (NYSE: SLV
) was up 0.20%, and the ProShares Ultra Silver (ETF) (NYSE: AGQ
) was up 0.51%.