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Metals Stocks: Gold prices end lower, but still above $1,800 level after hitting six-month high

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Gold prices ended lower on Wednesday, retreating from their highest level since June in the previous session but remained above $1,800 per ounce, which is a sign that a week-long bull run remains intact, precious-metals analysts said.

Price action

Gold futures for February
GCG23,
-0.55%

delivery fell $7.30, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,815.80 per ounce on Comex, FactSet data show.

Silver futures for March delivery
SIH23,
-1.89%

fell 38 cents, or 1.6%, to end at $23.84 per ounce.

Palladium futures for March
PAH23,
-2.45%

delivery declined $41.30, or 2.3%, to $1,785 per ounce, while platinum futures
PLJ23,
-1.24%

for April shed $12.50, or 1.3%, settling at $1,020.20 per ounce.

Copper prices due in March
HGH23,
-0.29%

finished nearly flat, at $3.84 per pound.

Market drivers

While the yellow metal finished modestly lower on Wednesday, analysts pointed out that gold prices still remain well above the $1,800 per ounce level. Below that level, gold bulls might start to lose confidence that the recent rally in the yellow metal can continue, analysts said.

“Gold prices continue to trade above the critical support of 1,800, a level that is closely watched by both bulls and bears. This is because traders believe that as long as the price continues to trade above this price point, the price action is more likely to move in the right direction,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

However, Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA said investors may see a correction early in the new year in the absence of a dovish shift in the Federal Reserve commentary or some favorable economic data.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.21%
,
 a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.1% at 104.30. 

The U.S. stock market is quieter this week following the Christmas holiday and just ahead of the new year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.63%

was off 0.6% on Wednesday, while the S&P 500
SPX,
-0.74%

shed 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.96%

dropped 0.9%.

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