Gold advanced to a seven-week high on Thursday with February futures, the most active contract on the Comex market, hitting a high of $1,207.20 an ounce, up nearly 1% from Wednesday’s close and the highest on an intra-day basis since November 23.
The metal pared those gains in afternoon trading in another day of huge volumes in New York, dipping below the psychologically important $1,200 an ounce level, but year to date the metal is up more than 4%.
It’s only two weeks in, but gold seems to be following a familiar playbook this year. The price of gold raced higher out of the gate in 2016 only to give up most of those gains after peaking in July. A similar pattern was followed in 2015 although weakness returned to the market earlier than last year.
2016 was the first year in four that gold enjoyed an annual gain, but few dare to call it the return of a bull market. This chart from Saxo Bank from its quarterly outlook shows all too clear that bullion bears are still in charge with the price on several occasions failing to break the downtrend in place since 2011’s record high.