Gold stays near 2-year high, silver spikes above $21 as rally continues

Gold prices extended gains from last week in European trade on Monday, staying near the strongest level in more than two years, while silver spiked to levels not seen since July 2014.

U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday for the Independence Day holiday, resulting in thin trading conditions.

Gold for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to an intraday peak of $1,360.30 a troy ounce before falling back to $1,353.00 by 06:53GMT, or 2:53AM ET, up $14.00, or 1.05%.

Gold jumped $16.70, or 1.27%, last week, the fifth straight weekly gain. The precious metal rose almost 9% in June, its biggest monthly increase since February. Prices are up nearly 25% so far this year, completing one of its strongest first halves on record.

Gold has been well-supported in recent sessions amid fading expectations of a Federal Reserve rate hike in the next couple of months and as investors continued to digest the political and economic aftermath of the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union.

The yellow metal surged to $1,362.60 on June 24, a level not seen since March 2014, after a shock U.K. vote to exit the EU sent investors flooding into safe haven assets.

Market players all but ruled out further rate hikes by the Fed this year in the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the EU. In fact, futures markets are now reflecting a chance that the Fed could actually cut interest rates before the end of the year. According to the CME Fed Watch tool, there’s currently a 0% probability of a Fed rate hike in July and a 3% probability of a rate cut.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for September delivery spiked by more than 6% to hit a daily high of $21.22 a troy ounce, the most in two years, before giving back some gains to trade at $20.47, up 88.2 cents, or 4.5%.

Silver futures soared $1.75, or 9.87%, last week, its best weekly performance since August 2013.

Elsewhere, copper futures tacked on 2.6 cents, or 1.17%, to $2.243 a pound during morning hours in London on hopes policymakers in China would unleash more stimulus to prop up a sluggish economy, brightening the outlook for raw material demand.

In the week ahead, market players will be shifting their attention slightly away from Brexit-related headlines and more towards economic fundamentals and U.S. monetary policy, with the June nonfarm payrolls report and FOMC meeting minutes in the spotlight. There is also ISM services data on Wednesday.,-silver-spikes-above-$21-as-rally-continues-412239