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RIYADH: Gold traded flat on Thursday but prices were set for a second consecutive weekly gain as the Ukraine crisis and broadening inflationary pressures lifted the safe-haven metal’s appeal.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,974.28 per ounce, as of 0426 GMT. US gold futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,977.60.

The metal has gained about 1.4 percent so far in the week. Most markets will be closed on Friday for a holiday.

Palladium rises

On Thursday, palladium rose 2.3 percent to $2,368.85.

Spot silver was flat at $25.73 per ounce, while platinum was unchanged at $986.27. 

Grains firm

US wheat and corn futures rose further in early Asian trading on Thursday, on worries over global supplies as the Russia-Ukraine war continued.

The most-active wheat contract on the Chicago Board of Trade was up 0.6 percent at $11.28 a bushel.

CBOT corn edged up 0.32 percent to $7.8-1/2 a bushel.

CBOT soybeans rose 0.67 percent to $16.87-1/4 a bushel.

Copper firms on tight supply

Copper prices rose on Thursday on expectations that top metals consumer China’s COVID-19 battle will have minimal impact on demand, while zinc succumbed to profit-taking, although losses were limited amid persistent worries over tight supply.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.5 percent to $10,353.50 a ton, as of 0409 GMT, keeping it on track for a weekly gain.

The most-active May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended the morning trade 0.4 percent higher at $11,655.12 a ton.

Zinc down

London zinc was down 0.6 percent at $4,437 a ton, after hitting a five-week high in the previous session underpinned by supply worries as inventories shrank and smelters in Europe struggled amid a spike in energy costs.

Shanghai zinc slipped 0.4 percent, after climbing to its highest in nearly 15 years on Wednesday.

LME aluminum rose 0.4 percent to $3,250 a ton, lead slipped 0.2 percent to $2,427.50, while tin gained 0.2 percent to $43,390.

Shanghai aluminum climbed 1.6 percent, nickel rose 1.1 percent, lead shed 0.2 percent, and tin jumped 2.1 percent.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

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