Precious metals, particularly gold, received a welcome boost early in the week after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) unexpectedly lowered the reference rate of the yuan, a move that drew further criticism from the U.S.; China’s manipulation of the yuan has been viewed as a means to protect exports; however, China have argued the policy change is part of its transition to a more market-driven currency. Despite the stabilization of the yuan towards the end of the week, there has been reports that senior officials in the Chinese government are pushing to devalue the currency by a further 10%. Renewed safe-haven demand resulted in a rise in precious metal prices, with gold (↑2%), silver (↑2.7%), platinum (↑2.9%) and palladium (↑2.9%) each experiencing significant gains before finishing at $1,115, $15.19, $992 and $619 per ounce respectively. Significantly, gold, silver and platinum each rose above the $1,100, $15.00 and $1,000 psychological barriers (albeit briefly in the case of platinum). However, a bearish tone for gold over the short-term remains, suggesting the $1,100 barrier is likely to be tested further in the coming weeks. While precious metals were up, base metals largely fell following the PBOC’s move and a fresh set of macroeconomic data from China pointing to further growth concerns. Copper (↓0.13%), nickel (↓1.8%) and zinc (↓1.3%) each fell at the start of the week, before recovering, while lead posted a weekly gain (↑1.3%), finishing at $0.80 per pound. The price of WTI crude fell further this week, reaching a 52-week low on Thursday and breaking the $42.00 per barrel mark before settling at $42.16 per barrel on Friday. Finally, The UxC Broker Average Price (BAP) for uranium rose following the restart of the Sendai reactor in Japan, finishing at $36.44 at the time of publication.

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