In December, gold prices rallied $31.00, or 2.43% up to $1,306.00. For the quarter, prices gained a net $22.50 or 1.75%, and for the entirety of 2017, prices added $ 154.00, an increase of 13.37%.
December’s price chart is a tale of 2 markets. The month began with prices trading $1,275.00. Prices trended lower until the 12th, when prices traded the month’s low of $1,236.75. A remarkably consistent rally through month end ensued from there, with prices closing higher in the next 11 of 13 trading sessions. Gold prices hit their month’s high of $1.307.50 on the 29th, 2017’s last trading day.
The first part of the month was dominated by strong equity market performances amid expectations for the passage of the Trump tax reform bill and the presumption that the Fed would raise interest rates; the US dollar rallied against this backdrop and gold prices fell. Speculative traders liquidated Comex long gold futures positions during the week ending the 12th by a huge 76.2K, for a drop of two-thirds of their net long position.
On the 12th, the downtrend in gold prices reversed just ahead of the Fed hike that day. Positive sentiment for gold prices dominated for the rest of the month despite firm equity prices. The Bloomberg US Dollar Index began a steady decline on the 15th, re-engaging the dollar’s broad downtrend in 2017 that had been based on the expectation of tightening in the Eurozone in 2018. Speculative traders net bought 31.5K lots of Comex gold futures in the 2 weeks ending December 26. In other metal markets in December, silver prices rose 3.04%. Platinum prices fell 1.56% as palladium prices traded 17-year highs to gain 5.25%. Copper prices added 7.17%.