Oil futures plunge after a closely watched report shows U.S. oil inventories rose to their highest level in more than three decades last week. Dan Strumpf reports on the News Hub. Photo: Associated Press.
Attention later turns to the ECB, which is expected to cut its main refinancing rateby a quarter-percentage point to 0.5%. Expectations for a rate cut have risen in the wake of downbeat economic data from the euro zone, including reports of sluggish activity in the manufacturing sector and deteriorating conditions in the labor market.
The ECB decision will be announced at 7:45 a.m. Eastern time. A press conference will be held by ECB President Mario Draghi at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
Analysts have attributed recent strength in gold prices to expectations the Fed and the ECB will continue with their easy-monetary policies, as well as to stronger demand for physical gold.
The recovery in gold prices comes after a selloff in April on concerns about drops in exchange-traded gold products and cuts in gold-price forecasts. Investors pulled $6.77 billion out of the SPDR Gold Trust exchange-traded fundGLD-0.11% last month and lost its spot as the second-largest ETF.
Meanwhile, the July silver contract SIN3+1.44% was up 24 cents, or 1%, to $23.54 an ounce on Thursday. Prices during Wednesday’s regular session slid 84 cents, or 3.5%. Copper for delivery in JulyHGN3+1.36% rose 4 cents to $3.12 a pound.
July platinum PLN3+0.95% gained $12.90, or 0.9%, to trade at $1,482.40 an ounce, and June palladium futures PAM3+0.13% rose $1.50 to $686.25 an ounce.