Precious Metals Weekly Round-Up: Gold Up, Near Five-month Peak

Gold and silver were firm on Friday (December 7) ahead of US non-farm payrolls data and expectations that the Fed will slowdown US rate hikes in 2019.

As of 9:05 a.m. EST, the yellow metal was trading at US$ 1,242.90 per ounce, pushing it towards a five-month high. As for the white metal, it was up 1 percent on Friday, sitting at US$ 14.50 per ounce as of 9:10 a.m. EST.

Despite the climb, market watchers remain cautious about precious metals. Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch, noted, “[m]uch will depend on the US jobs report today and how it will impact Fed rate hike expectations which have been scaled back so dramatically that a strong report could lead to a readjustment, putting gold under pressure.”

Beyond the interest rate hike that is expected to take place in December, insiders are putting more focus on the Fed’s moves for 2019 and are speculating that traders will see less than one rate increase next year, compared with previous expectations for possibly two rate hikes.

“If gold was ever going to stage a meaningful rally, it would be now. We are indeed in a risk-off environment with stocks and yields having fallen sharply, while the dollar hasn’t been doing too great either,” said Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst with Forex.com

“While some speculators are waiting to get onboard after the US jobs report is out of the way, some of the more technically-minded traders are probably waiting for that US$ 1,240 resistance level to give way,” he added.

To date, bullion has recovered about 7 percent from 19-month lows hit in mid-August.

As for the other precious metals, platinum was down 2.20 percent and as of 9:30 a.m. EST, it was trading at US$ 791.00 per ounce. For its part, palladium was down on Friday but set a record during Wednesday’s (December 5) session was it peaked at US$ 1,252.68 an ounce to topple gold for the first time in 16 years. As of 9:40 a.m. EST, palladium was trading at US$ 1,202.00 per ounce.

Precious metals top news stories

Our top precious metals stories this week features the Investing News Network’s (INN) roundup of the top 5 gold stocks of 2018, palladium surpassing gold for the first time in 16 years and a roundup of INN’s top 5 gold news stories from 2018.

1. Best Gold Stocks of 2018 on the TSX

While gold has had its share of ups and downs in 2018, some companies have achieved strong results despite the precious metal’s fluctuating price point.

With the year nearly over and done, INN has rounded up the best gold stocks on the TSX by share price performance so far this year. All have experienced positive momentum at their gold assets in 2018, with the biggest gainer being up more than 200 percent year-to-date.

Best stocks include:

  1. RNC Minerals (TSX:RNX)
  2. Wesdome Gold Mines (TSX:WDO)
  3. Wallbridge Mining Company (TSX:WM)
  4. Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX:KL)
  5. Corvus Gold (TSX:KOR)

All year-to-date and share price information was obtained on December 3, 2018 from TradingView. All companies listed had market caps above $ 50 million at that time.

2. Palladium Tops Gold for First Time in 16 Years

After four months of consistent rallying, palladium has finally surpassed gold as the highest-trading precious metal, thanks to concerns over supply creating a surge in demand.

Palladium, which hasn’t matched gold prices in 16 years, made gains on the back of buyers scrambling for supplies of the metal, which is most commonly used in vehicle smog-control devices. Demand continues to rise as consumers are opting for gasoline-powered cars, which tend to use more palladium in autocatalysts over diesel vehicles.

“People are grasping for whatever ounces of material they can get,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals trading at BMO Capital Markets.

Is it a good time to buy gold stocks?

Learn to profit from gold’s low price this year!

3. 5 Top Gold News Stories of 2018

The gold price was down about 3 percent year-to-date as of early December, changing hands at around US$ 1,240 per ounce.

Overall, the yellow metal has put on a lackluster performance in 2018, with many market watchers wondering why global events haven’t kicked off a rush towards safe-haven assets like gold.

It remains to be seen what 2019 will bring for the market — for now, let’s take a look at what happened this past year. Scroll down to see the list of our most popular gold news stories of 2018.

Top stories include:

  1. Gold Price Rises Amid US-China Trade Tensions
  2. Top Stock Picks: Holmes vs. Rule vs. Katusa
  3. Rob McEwen: A Tsunami of Money is Headed for Precious Metals
  4. Peter Schiff: It Could be Over for the Dollar
  5. Doug Casey: Will the Next Bubble Be in Mining?

Also in the news

Also making news this week is Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), which announced on Thursday (December 6) that it had updated its 2019 outlook.

The miner expects to produce 5.2-million ounces of gold in 2019, and 4.9-million ounces in 2020. The company also delivered an updated guidance from its previous range of 4.9-million ounces to 5.4-million ounces for next year.

“Our proven strategy will deliver stable gold production at competitive costs over at least the next five years as we continue to deliver value-accretive projects across our four regions,” said Gary J. Goldberg, CEO.

“Our investment grade balance sheet and ample liquidity means we are well positioned to invest in profitable growth and simultaneously return cash to shareholders through our industry leading dividend. Newmont remains focused on leading the gold sector in profitability and responsibility through the next generation of mines, technology and leaders,” he added.

Finally, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Thursday that Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:ABX) plans to sell a research and development company it owns as well as reduce its technology staff.

“The gold miner expects to close its Randgold Resources (LSE:RRS) purchase January 1, and incoming CEO Mark Bristow has said he plans to sell a variety of noncore core assets, cut costs and shrink head-office management to help delegate more authority to regional mining operations,” the WSJ report noted.

The report also noted that Barrick has disbanded or shrunk technology-based teams at its head office in Toronto and at its mining operations in Nevada, in the past few months. One of the first assets to go on the block is Barrick-owned AuTec Innovative Extractive Solutions, which specializes in testing mineral samples and processing, people familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Wallbridge Mining Company is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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