Silver prices declined on Friday, but were still on track for narrow weekly gains as market fundamentals moved in favor of precious metals.
Silver for May deliver fell 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $18.09 a troy ounce at 7:46 am ET. Overnight trading was limited to a range of $17.99 and $18.10.
The grey metal is on track for a narrow weekly gain, a sign the uptrend was still firmly intact. Prices are up nearly 13% since the start of the year and more than 14% from their mid-December lows.
Gold futures were trading above three-month highs on Friday, reversing a sharp drop earlier in the week. The April futures contract edged up $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,243.00 a troy ounce.
A stronger U.S. dollar pressured gold and silver prices on Friday, as the currency consolidated from a sharp decline the previous session. The dollar index rose 0.2% to 100.63, and has now gained more than 1% since the start of February. The greenback was up against the pound and euro Friday morning.
Precious metals are priced in U.S. dollars, and are therefore highly sensitive to fluctuations in the currency.
Global stocks were down across the board on Friday, with Asian markets hitting the brakes after a choppy week of trading. Japan’s 225-issue Nikkei fell 0.6%, having briefly touched a six-day low earlier in the session. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 0.3%. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index finished 0.9%.
European markets were also down, trimming their gains for the week. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was last down 0.4%. The regional benchmark declined on Thursday for the first time in nine sessions.
U.S. equity futures were trading lower in the pre-market, pointing to a soft start to the day on Wall Street.