Gold and Copper Post Mild Increase after Upbeat China Trade Data

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On Thursday, gold prices increase a little in Asia after upbeat trade statistic from China sustained demand hopes, although copper stayed a bit higher in spite of an impressive increase in imports in November.

Gold futures for February on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange increased 0.11% to $1,178.85 a troy ounce.

Somewhere else in precious metals trading, delivery of silver futures for March declined 0.22% to $17.237 a troy ounce, while delivery of copper futures  for March increased 0.04% to $2.648 a pound.

China reported its trade balance for November as an excess of $44.61 billion, compared with a surplus of $46.30 billion seen and exports posted a slight surge of 0.1%, beyond the decline of 5.0% projected, while imports increased 6.7%, beyond 1.3% declined seen.

The data showed copper imports increased 31% in November from the prior month to 380,000 tonnes, the highest since June on construction demand.

Suddenly, gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, however,  increased seen possible to stay limited as expectations for an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve the upcoming  week weighed on the precious metal.

Gold stayed under pressure ahead of an anticipated interest rate hike by the U.S. central bank at its Dec. 13-14 meeting with a stronger greenback also hitting sentiment as the precious metal is priced in greenbacks.

Figures on Tuesday presented that U.S. factory orders increased at the fastest rate in nearly one-and-a-half years in October added to indications that the manufacturing sector is improving and fed into expectations for a rate increase.

On Additional News

On Thursday, oil prices increased in thin trading  after steep declines in the prior session, supported by a sluggish dollar, positive economic data and a decline in U.S.crude stocks.

International Brent crude futures were trading up 4 cents at $53.04 a barrel at 0345 GMT after closing the prior session down 93 cents.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices increased 14 cents to $49.90 a barrel after ending down $1.16.

Crude oil inventories in the U.S. declined to 2.4 million barrels in the week that ended on Dec. 2, compared with analyst anticipation for a draw of 1 million barrels.

However, stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, a delivery hub for U.S. crude futures, increased by a hefty 3.8 million barrels the previous week, the most since 2009, according to data from the U.S. EIA on Wednesday.

“Oil prices are being supported by a raft of factors including underlying strength in the U.S. economy shown in better than expected factory and nonfarm payroll data and Chinese regulators’ attempts to cut excess supply in steel and other industries,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at Sydney’s CMC Markets.

“While OPEC’s decision to curb output is grabbing the headlines traders feel this should be balanced against a lot of more positive economic data,” he said.

Oil prices have increased since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia reached a landmark deal the previous week to reduce production to erode a global supply overhang and prop up prices.

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