The gold price inched lower on Wednesday as most of the main players have already closed out their books for the year.
The gold price for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was last down $3.10 at $1,197.30 per ounce. Trade has ranged from $1,195.80 to $1,203.90 in thin volumes.
“The volatility in metals continued overnight, based more so than anything on a substantial lack of liquidity during the holiday period,” said MKS Finance.
However, Tuesday was a surprising interesting session. Gold jumped rapidly from $1,185 to $1,202 in a matter of minutes at the open of New York trade, while Comex turnover for the day was around 135,00 lots, up from 65,000 to 75,000 during previous sessions.
The speculation among Comex traders was that the sudden price rise was due to a large fund stockpiling a healthy amount of gold before year-end.
“The buying was real and that for the first time in some while we note, with rather great interest, that the open interest on the Comex rose a very sharp 2.5 percent yesterday, suggesting that this was indeed new buying, for if this was short covering the open interest would have fallen rather than having risen,” Dennis Gartman, editor of the Gartman Letter, said.
But this morning the pace has slowed, which is expected given it’s the last trading day of the year. Many participants are already absent from the market. But nevertheless people will looking anxiously to see where the gold finishes up.
“In 2013, the closing price for the year was $1205.60. A close of the year above this would be a small psychological victory to the gold bulls after so much negative press throughout the course of this year,” MKS explained.
Meanwhile, in data, Chinese HSBC final manufacturing PMI was around expectations at 49.6, while US weekly unemployment claims increased by 17,000 to 298,000 in the week ending December 27, which missed the 290,000 forecast.
In the wider-markers, the dollar was 0.16 percent stronger at 1.2138 against the euro, while Germany’s DAX was down 1.22 percent and France’s CAC-40 rose by 0.64 percent.
As for the other precious metals, Comex silver for March delivery was down 35.1 cents, or 2.2 percent, at $15.925 per ounce. Trade has ranged from $15.915 to $16.310.
Platinum for April delivery on the Nymex was down $8.40 at $1,210.90 per ounce, while the most-actively traded palladium contract was at $803.15 per ounce, down $1.05.
“Silver has been the worst yearly performer looking likely to close out the year down around 17 percent, platinum is currently down 11.5 percent and palladium was the best performer in the complex up 12.5 percent at current levels,” MKS noted.