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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: February 23 - 27

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold ended Friday's session close to a six-week low after euro zone finance ministers agreed on a deal to extend Greece's bailout by four months, dampening the safe-haven appeal of the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery shed $2.70, or 0.22%, to settle at $1,204.90 a troy ounce by close of trade on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,197.20, the low from February 18, and resistance at $1,222.90, the high from February 19.

The euro zone approved the extension of Greece's €240 billion bailout, removing concerns that the country would face a liquidity crunch when its current bailout agreement expired at the end of the month.

Athens has until Monday to present a list of reforms to be approved by the country's creditors in order to secure the four-month extension, which will give it more time to reach a lasting agreement with its creditors.

The precious metal hit $1,197.20 on Wednesday, a level not seen since January 5, amid hopes that a compromise between Greece and its European partners would eventually be reached.

On the week, gold lost $22.60, or 1.81%, the fourth straight weekly decline, amid ongoing expectations for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates later this year.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery slumped 10.8 cents, or 0.66%, on Friday to settle at $16.27 a troy ounce by close of trade. Earlier in the day, prices hit $16.16, the lowest level since January 6.

The March silver futures contract tumbled $1.05, or 5.9%, on the week.

Meanwhile, copper for March delivery inched down 2.5 cents, or 0.97%, on Friday to end at $2.594 a pound in holiday-thinned trade.

Markets in China, the world's largest copper consumer, will remain closed until February 24 for the Lunar New Year holiday, removing a key support for prices.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

For the week, Comex copper dipped 0.6 cents, or 0.38%, halting two straight weeks of gains.

In the week ahead, Tuesday's testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to the Senate Banking Committee will be closely watched for any indication on when U.S. interest rates may start to rise.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, February 23

Markets in China are to remain closed for a national holiday.

In Germany, the Ifo research group is to publish its report on business climate.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to publish a report on existing home sales.

Tuesday, February 24

Markets in China are to remain closed for a national holiday.

The U.S. is to produce a private sector report on consumer confidence. Meanwhile, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to testify on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the Senate Banking Committee, in Washington.

Wednesday, February 25

China is to release the preliminary reading of the HSBC manufacturing index.

The U.S. is to release data on new home sales.

Thursday, February 26

The U.S. is also to release data on initial jobless claims, consumer price inflation and durable goods orders.

Friday, February 27

In the euro zone, Germany and Spain are to release preliminary data on consumer price inflation.

The U.K. is to release revised figures on fourth quarter economic growth, as well as preliminary data on business investment.

The U.S. is to round up the week with revised data on fourth quarter growth, as well as reports on pending home sales, business activity in the Chicago region and consumer sentiment. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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