Silver Futures Follow Weakness in Gold Prices

December 9, 2016 5:34AM CST

Silver futures prices are following the mostly-lower trend in the metals sector, with prices weakening as in precious metals prices drop in global markets.

The January contract in silver futures was down .67 percent at $16.930 in Friday mid-day commodities futures markets trading. Some analysts attributed the softness in silver futures to offloading of positions by speculators at prevailing levels.

Meanwhile the January contract in gold futures prices were .72 percent lower at 1,162.7 on Friday, ahead of next week’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. A rate hike is all but priced in for next week’s Federal Open Market Committee in any sustainable fashion, meeting. Analysts say gold futures will likely not move significantly lower just from the probable rate hike, but there are other factors that seem to support the bear case on the surface to consider in the near term, such as Treasury futures yields moving higher and strong U.S. dollar index futures.

In the remainder of the metals futures sector, January copper futures prices were .71 percent higher at 2.64, while the January contract in platinum futures fell 2.71 percent at 918.2.

Friday brought just two reports of significance to the commodities futures markets. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment report for December was released at 98, compared to most economists’ expectations of 94.5. The jump was attributed to a winding down of the impact of President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S., as well as an overall positive outlook for the economy. Within the survey, views about the economic outlook rose 4.3 percent to 88.9. Consumer views of the current state of the economy grew 4.5 percent as well, rising to 112.1.

October Wholesale Inventories fell 0.4 percent, in line with expectations, in line with expectations, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Inventories of durable goods fell by 0.3 percent as a decline in inventories of metals and minerals offset a jump in inventories of furniture and home furnishings. The report said inventories of non-durable goods were also down 0.4 percent.

In addition to the FOMC decision, next week’s economic calendar contains a slew of reports of note to the commodities futures markets, including November Import and Export Prices, November Retail Sales, and the Producers Price Index for the same month. The November Consumer Price Index and Housing Starts and Building Permits for the same month are also slated for release.

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