Gold Prices Sneak Higher ahead of Busy Week of Economic Data

Big 5

Gold bugs on Monday enjoyed a slight respite from all the declines, but they could be in for another rough week if the next batch of economic numbers, notably the jobs report at the end of the week, shows further improvement.

At last check, gold for December delivery GCZ4, +0.33% was up $2.10 to $1,217.50 an ounce. December silver SIZ4, -0.04% dipped 3 cents to $17.55 an ounce.

Gold ended Friday’s session with another dip, capping off a stretch of four-straight weeks of losses amid a climbing dollar and relatively upbeat economic data. It didn’t help that the broader stock market logged solid gains, including a 1% push on the Dow DJIA, +0.99%

Gold was also reportedly getting support from unrest in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng index HSI, -1.90% plunged 2.2% amid pro-democracy protests that exploded over the weekend.

There’s plenty of economic data to digest this week, the most important piece being the September employment report at the end of the week. As for Monday, traders will take a look at personal income and outlays for August at 8:30 a.m. Eastern followed by pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. A half hour later, the Dallas Fed manufacturing survey will be released.

Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank, blames much of the recent weakness in gold prices on the fact that imports to China are just slightly above June 2011 levels.

“Chinese gold demand looks set to fall well short of last year’s total even if it picks up in the next few months,” he said. “So far, the price slide has not sparked any revival of physical demand. Evidently buyers in Asia are holding back in anticipation of even lower prices.

Barclays reported that short positioning on gold is now at its highest since last year as sentiment turns increasingly bearish.

October platinum PLV4, +0.17% was a rare advancer among the rest of the metals, adding $1.60 to $1,303.60 an ounce, while December palladium PAZ4, +0.46% dropped 80 cents to $783 an ounce. High-grade copper for December delivery HGZ4, -0.33% lost 2 cents to $3.02 a pound.

Source: MarketWatch