Investing.com - Gold futures ended Friday’s session at the weakest level since February, as investors were hesitant to buy into the market amid a weak technical outlook.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery fell to a daily low of $1,242.20 a troy ounce on Friday, the weakest level since February 3, before trimming losses to settle at $1,246.00 by close of trade, down 0.88%, or $11.10.
Gold prices were likely to find support at $1,241.20 an ounce, the low from February 3 and resistance at $1,261.50, the high from May 29.
Comex gold lost 3.53%, or $45.70 an ounce on the week. For May, gold prices dropped 3.9%, the biggest monthly price decline since November.
Gold continued its downward trend as chart signals remained bearish after prices broke below key support close to the $1,277-and-$1,250 levels, triggering fresh sell orders.
Comex gold prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks as upbeat U.S. economic data underlined the view that the U.S. economy is shaking off the effects of a weather-related slowdown over the winter, bolstering the outlook for the broader economic recovery.
While data released Thursday showed that the U.S. economy contracted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1% in the first quarter, market analysts expects second quarter growth to snap back with a 3.8% gain.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for May for further indications on the strength of the labor market and the need for stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers significantly decreased their bullish bets in gold futures in the week ending May 27.
Net longs totaled 68,393 contracts, down 24.3% from net longs of 90,358 in the preceding week.
Also on the Comex, silver for July delivery tumbled 1.75%, or 33.2 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $18.68 a troy ounce, the lowest since May 1. The July silver futures contract lost 3.76%, or 73.0 cents, on the week.
Data from the CFTC showed that net silver shorts rose to 6,997 contracts as of last week, compared to net shorts of 1,948 contracts in the preceding week.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for July delivery shed 0.67%, or 2.1 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $3.167 a pound by close of trade. On the week, Comex copper prices lost 1.38%, or 4.4 cents a pound.
Data released over the weekend showed that China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index inched up to a five-month high of 50.8 in May, above expectations for 50.6 and up from 50.4 reported in April.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.
According to the CFTC, net copper longs totaled 21,315 contracts as of last week, up 11.9% from net longs of 18,787 in the preceding week.
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