Gold rose on Thursday, recouping some of the ground lost of the past two sessions, while silver hit a three-week high amid low volumes as the dollar softened ahead of the Christmas holiday break, and a recovery in oil prices helped sentiment.
In a shortened pre-holiday session, U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled at $1,075.9 per ounce, up 0.71 percent. Trading will be closed on Friday, reopening at the normal time on Sunday evening.
Bullion prices have shed 9 percent so far this year, a third year of losses, mostly due to expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, which it did this month.
“Leading into this rate hike, there was a lot of negative sentiment but now that’s rebalancing, which is price supportive in the short term,” Julius Baer analyst Warren Kreyzig said.
“But when people start to focus on the fundamentals of low inflation, economic growth in the U.S., the impact on gold will be bearish again,” Kreyzig added.
With the first U.S. rate increase in nearly a decade out of the way, the focus is now on the pace of future hikes, analysts said.
Higher rates dent demand for non-interest paying gold, for which the outlook remains largely on the downside, with many predicting a drop below $1,000 by the end of next year.
Data on Thursday showed U.S. weekly jobless claims slipped more than forecast near a 42-year low.
While trading at volume lower than average, Goldcorp Inc. (USA) (NYSE:GG) climbed 2.79% at the end of recent close. Its previous 52-week high was $24.41, trading at a volume of 3,738,645. Shares have fallen -25.54% over the trailing 6 months. The stock is currently trading – -3.72% below its SMA 50 and -19.75% below its SMA 200.
Gold Fields Limited (ADR) (NYSE:GFI) has a previous 52-week high of $5.98. The stock traded at a volume of 894,658 shares. The share price is now down 8.92% for the past three months. Latest closing price was 13.16% above its 50-day moving average and -7.27% below its 200-day moving average.
Harmony Gold Mining Co. (ADR) (NYSE:HMY) closed at $ 1.03 from previous close and at a distance of 34.64% from 20-day simple moving average. Over the last 12 months, a return on equity of -26.00 percent was realized due to the financial situation and earnings per share reached a value of $-0.73.