Gold hovers near its 2-month low, oil hits 13-months high

Gold was up on February 18 morning in Asia. However, it hovered close to its two-month low. The U.S. dollar strengthened, and progress in the global economic rebound from coronavirus dampened demand for gold.

The yellow metal futures increased by 0.54% and settled at $1,782.40, while silver held steady. Platinum and palladium were also boosted.

Notably, positive U.S. data released overnight supported bullion to cap a fifth straight session of losses on February 17. Moreover, core retail sales rose by 5.9% month-on-month in January compared to the 1% growth in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 1.8% fall recorded in December.

On the central bank front, the U.S. Federal Reserve released the minutes from its January policy meeting on February 17. The minutes showed that the central bank is willing to continue its accommodative monetary policy to support the U.S. economic recovery.

However, gold has fallen more than 6% in 2021 after its biggest annual gain in ten years in 2020. It was driven by progress on COVID-19 vaccination programs and the prospect of further U.S. stimulus.

Oil prices rose as concerns about a cold snap in Texas prompted fresh buying

Meanwhile, oil prices rallied on Thursday to reach a 13-month high as concerns that a rare cold snap in Texas could disrupt U.S. crude output prompted fresh buying.

Brent crude boosted by 56 cents, which equals 0.9%, and settled at $64.90, after growing to $65.62 earlier in the session, its highest since January 20, 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures surged 46 cents, or 0.8%, to $61.60 a barrel, after earlier climbing to $62.26, a level unseen since January 8, 2020.

Both benchmarks rose about $1 on Wednesday and have increased nearly 6% since their close last Thursday.

Analysts say that with hopes of further U.S. economic stimulus and wider rollouts of the coronavirus vaccine, oil prices are likely to stay on the bullish territory. WTI could test a key $65 level.

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