Haywood-1-1Comments from Federal Chair Janet Yellen on Friday raised the possibility of an interest rate hike in 2015 as U.S. CPI data showed a three-month annualized inflation rise of 2.6%, a four-year high. The rise in inflation in the U.S. may attract investors to inflation-hedge commodities, especially gold, if the Federal Reserve is slow to respond to rising prices; gold has fluctuated around the $1,200 per ounce mark since February. It now appears more likely that the U.S. could raise interest rates in September (or as early as July) if the economic indicators continue to remain positive. Precious metals prices fell during the week, with gold (↓0.7%), silver (↓0.7%), platinum (↓0.7%) and palladium (↓0.7%) each finishing at $1,204, $17.11, $1,146 and $784 per ounce respectively. Base metals endured a tough week, with the nickel price continuing its downward trajectory, plunging over 10% to finish at $5.74 per pound and losing the gains made in late April/early May. Copper fell over 4% during the week, finishing at $2.79 per pound while zinc (↓0.7%) and lead (↓0.7%) were also down, ending the week at $0.98 and $0.88 per pound respectively. Uranium echoed the trend, with the UxC Broker Average Price (BAP) for uranium falling 1.2% during the week and finishing at $35.25 per pound. Finally, WTI crude continues to remain just below the $60 per barrel mark, ending the week at $59.92 per barrel on Friday.

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