Gold down on equities rally

Chicago, Jan 23 (IANS) Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as US equities rallied for the second day in a row.

The most active gold contract for February delivery on Friday dropped $1.9, or 0.17 percent, to settle at 1,096.3 dollars per ounce, Xinhua news agency reported.

Gold was put under pressure as the US Dow Jones Industrial Average rose.

Gold was also dampened as the US Dollar Index also rose.

The index is a measure of the dollar against a basket of major currencies.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes up, gold futures will fall as gold, measured by the dollar, becomes more expensive for investors.

Silver for March delivery fell 3.7 cents, or 0.26 percent, to close at $14.057 per ounce.

Platinum for April delivery added $12.1, or 1.48 percent, to close at $831.6.

Oil prices extend rally

Oil prices continued to surge in hope of stimulus from Eurozone.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery moved up $2.66 to settle at $32.19 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery increased $2.93 to close at $32.18 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Thursday that its key interest rates would remain unchanged at record low levels.

ECB president Mario Draghi’s comments suggested the central bank is willing to offer more stimulus at its next meeting in March.

Persistent oversupply, bloated inventories and a slew of negative economic news pressured crude oil prices to the 12-year lows Wednesday.

Analysts believed that the frigid weather across the US and Europe would create higher short-term demand for energy.

Traders taking profits in short position also helped to lift the market.

US stocks rally as oil extends gains

US stocks posted solid gains as further recovery in oil prices boosted investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 210.83 points, or 1.33 percent, to 16,093.51 on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The S&P 500 jumped 37.91 points, or 2.03 percent, to 1,906.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index surged 119.12 points, or 2.66 percent, to 4,591.18.

Oil prices soared Friday, with both the US oil and Brent crude spiking about 9 percent, as traders started to buy the dips despite persistent oversupply worries.

The West Texas Intermediate for March delivery moved up $2.66 to settle at $32.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery increased $2.93 to close at $32.18 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

Meanwhile, hopes of stimulus in the euro zone also cheered Wall Street. The European Central Bank (ECB) held its key interest rates at record low levels on Thursday and planned to “reconsider” its monetary policy early March in a bid to lift weak inflation and stimulate the economy.

“It will therefore be necessary to review and possibly reconsider our monetary policy stance at our next meeting in early March,” said ECB president Mario Draghi.

Analysts said Draghi’s remarks suggested that the ECB is willing to offer more stimulus at its next meeting in March.

In other markets, the US dollar gained against euro as Draghi’s comments signalled further stimulus.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was up 0.56 percent at 99.573 in late trading.

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as US equities rallied for the second day in a row.

The most active gold contract for February delivery dropped $1.9, or 0.17 percent, to settle at $1,096.3 per ounce.

Canadian stocks surge

Canada’s main stock market in Toronto continued to rise over rising international oil prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index gained 353.72 points, or 2.94 percent, to close at 12,389.58 points on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the TSX index’s eight main sectors went up.

Both the US WTI oil and Brent crude soared over 9 percent in hope of stimulus from Eurozone.

The European Central Bank (ECB) kept its key interest rates at record low levels on Thursday and suggested more stimulus in March to lift weak inflation.

The Canadian dollar traded higher at $0.7067, compared with Thursday’s closing rate of $0.7003.

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