Copper has fallen below the closely watched level of $5,000 per ton.
Gold futures gained Wednesday, with analysts saying the beaten-up metal is continuing to attract bargain hunters.
But copper lost ground, building on a drop on Tuesday that took the industrial metal under the closely watched level of $5,000 per ton for the first time in six years.
Gold for December delivery GCZ5, +0.53% rose $3.70, or 0.3%, to $1,120.60 an ounce, while September high-grade copper HGU5, -0.50% lost a penny, or 0.3%, to trade at $2.28 a pound.
On the economic front, traders are watching for a July reading for the U.S. consumer price index that’s due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect rises of 0.2% for both the headline and core figures.
At 2 p.m. Eastern, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from the July meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policymaking body. Economists have said investors looking at the latest minutes for clear signals on the timing of an increase in interest rate are likely to be disappointed.
As gold managed to lift up from its session lows on Tuesday, that “shows that lower prices generate buying interest and cause the selling pressure among speculators to abate,” said Commerzbank analysts in a note Wednesday.
“Gold currently appears to be in a bottoming-out phase which could well continue for some weeks yet before any more sustained price recovery can be expected,” they added.
The Commerzbank analysts also said they “expect prices to stabilize in the near future” for copper and other base metals, arguing that worries about China, the largest consumer of copper, “are exaggerated at present.” Government measures will shore up the Chinese economy in the near or medium term, and expanded infrastructure projects in China will “lend support to demand for copper and other base metals,” the analysts said.
On Tuesday, gold settled 0.1% lower as copper slumped 1.5%, hitting the lowest price for a copper most-active contract since July 13, 2009.
In other metals trading on Wednesday, September silver SIU5, +1.83% tacked on 8 cents, or 0.5%, to $14.87 an ounce.