Gold might be getting its groove back. On Friday, COMEX gold for August delivery added $8.50, or 0.5%, to finish the day at $1,628.10 an ounce. That was good for the yellow metal’s sixth consecutive winning session, and for the week gold gained 2.3%, erasing last week’s losses in the process.
Ahead of Sunday’s Greek elections, gold’s gains are important because the upside might be indicating that the metal’s safe haven status is being restored. For most of 2012, gold has traded as a risk asset, beholden to European headline risk. In theory, the Greek elections could be painful for gold no matter what the outcome.
If the anti-austerity party wins, then the euro would plunge, which could drag gold lower. If Greece is able to form a coalition government and retain is Euro Zone membership, investors might be inclined to bid up stocks and other commodities that have greater industrial applications such as oil, silver and the platinum metals.
For now, that’s all speculation and come Monday there is a chance gold will rally regardless of what happens in Greece. If gold can reclaim the $1,640 an ounce level, that might signal a new leg higher. That would of course help the major gold ETFs, which hardly moved on Friday. Both the iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) and the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) added just 0.06% on the day.
On volume that wasn’t even half the daily average, the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) fell by one cent. Weak U.S. economic data points may have hampered silver’s upside Friday. In economic news, University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index slid to an initial June reading of 74.1from 79.3 in May. The initial June reading was the lowest since December and well below the 77.8 economists were expecting.
The New York Federal Reserves Empire Manufacturing Index fell to 2.3 this month, a 15-point drop from May and well below the reading of 13 economists expected.
Those data points weighed on the other platinum metals as the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) fell 0.7% and the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) faltered by more than 1%. The two ETFs have been solid over the past week, however.
Miners were a mixed bag as well as the Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL) added 1%. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) lost just a penny, but the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) was again the laggard of the bunch with a loss of 0.9%.
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