Gold, copper drifts lower in Asia with Chile mine strike in focus

Investing.com – Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange eased 0.46% to $1,213.85 a troy ounce. Copper futures dropped 1.45% on the Comex to $2.644 as word is awaited on a strike at BHP Billiton (LON:BLT)’s Escondida mine in Chile, the world’s biggest copper operation, after workers voted late Tuesday to reject a company wage offer and opted instead to go on strike.

Gold prices rose in the U.S. on Thursday with investors keeping an eye on political risk as thew Trump administration looks to find its footing at home and abroad with U.S. jobs at the end of the week expected to set a tone.

A walk out could begin as early as Friday, but could be deferred for a five-day government mediation effort to attempt a resolution.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve held its fire on interest rates as widely expected on Wednesday, but was optimistic on the outlook for the economy in keeping its benchmark overnight lending rate target at 0.5% to 0.75% following a 25 basis point hike in December.

“Measures of consumer and business sentiment have improved of late,” the committee said in its statement, using new language that jibes with voices on Wall Street following the election of Donald Trump as president.

“Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate stayed near its recent low,” the statement said, reflecting just a minor tweak from language at the December meeting.

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