Gold futures closed slightly higher Thursday ahead of the Christmas holiday, but booked the first weekly decline in about a month.
Traders of precious metals have been watching the path of a U.S. coronavirus fiscal aid package passed by Congress on Monday but which is currently unsigned on President Donald Trump’s desk.
“The marketplace remains tentative on this last trading day of the holiday-shortened week,” wrote Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a daily research note.
“President Trump unexpectedly vetoed a big U.S. defense spending bill on Wednesday and has held up a financial stimulus package for Americans that Congress had passed earlier this week,” he wrote.
Bullish gold traders have pinned expectations for higher prices on the passage of an aid package that could bolster appetite for bullion as a hedge against government attempts to boost economic growth with increased spending. On Thursday, however, Republicans in the House defied the president and blocked a bill put forward by Democrats that would have sent $2,000 checks to individuals as part of the coronavirus financial-aid package.
February gold traded $5.10, or 0.3%, higher to settle at $1,883.20 an ounce, following a 0.4% gain on Wednesday, snapping a three-session slump.
Silver for March delivery, meanwhile, shed 1.3 cents, or 0.05%, to end at $25.908 an ounce, following a 1.5% climb in the previous session.
For the week, gold lost 0.3%, snapping a streak of three consecutive weekly gains, while silver finished down 0.3%, FactSet data show, tracking the most-active contracts.
Metals trading settled an hour earlier on Thursday, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, ahead of Christmas when markets will remain closed.
In industrial metals, March copper added a little over half a penny, or 0.2%, to settle at $3.5625 a pound, following a 1% gain on Wednesday. Copper booked a 1.9% weekly loss, based on last Friday’s closing value for the most-active contract.
Elsewhere on Comex, January platinum finished trade at $1,028.90 an ounce, a again of $11.80, or 1.2%, after a 0.8% rise a day ago. The metal logged a weekly decline of 1.4%.
March palladium picked up $6.80, or 0.3%, to end at $2,345.90 an ounce, after a 0.7% gain on Wednesday, with a weekly fall of 1.1%.