Gold firms as dollar slips, poised for weekly gain

Gold firms as dollar slips, poised for weekly gain

Gold bar and coins.

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Gold inched higher on Friday as a weaker dollar and worries about rising inflation and risks to growth countered bets for looming interest rate hikes, keeping bullion on course for a small weekly gain.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,759.13 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.1% at $1,758.4.

The dollar pulled back, making gold less expensive in other currencies, encouraging demand.

Gold was on track for its first weekly uptick since Sept. 3, rising about 0.5% so far, as a retreat in the dollar on Thursday helped it bounce about 2%.

Dips in the dollar and lower bond yields are supporting gold, while investors reposition for the fourth quarter, said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Helping gold’s appeal, European and Asian stocks fell on worries about inflation and possible slowdown in growth.

“Anyone trying to convince market participants that inflation is not here, that’s a fool’s game,” Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said, adding that soaring energy prices due to a crunch in China and Europe will likely hit growth and earnings and lead to a volatile October, which will support gold.

Prospects that the U.S. Fed may still wind down economic support this year pressured gold, some analysts said, since reduced stimulus and higher interest rates tend to push government bond yields up, raising gold’s opportunity cost.

Silver added 1.5% to $22.53 per ounce, and was up 0.5% for the week.

Platinum rose 1.1% to $974.41 per ounce, and palladium rose 0.8% to $1,924.18, but both were set to fall for the week.

Apart from the semiconductor tightness hurting the automobile industry, amid low liquidity, palladium’s declines are also driven by general weakness “across the industrial metals coming out of China,” Hansen added.

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