Gold drops to 3-week low on U.S. dollar strength, rate-hike fears

Gold prices slipped to a three-week low on Friday and were heading for their first weekly decline in five, as a stronger dollar and prospects of more rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve dented bullion’s appeal.


* Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,755.89 per ounce, as of 0107 GMT, after falling to its lowest since July 29 at $1,753.68 in early Asian trading. For the week so far, the metal is down 2.5%.

* U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,769.20.

* The dollar surged to a one-month high against its rivals, making gold more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. [USD/]

* The Fed needs to keep raising borrowing costs to bring high inflation under control, a string of U.S. central bank officials said on Thursday, even as they debated how fast and how high to lift them.

* St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he is currently leaning toward supporting a third straight 75-basis-point interest rate hike in September.

* San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said hiking rates by 50 or 75 basis points at the Fed’s next policy meeting on Sept. 20-21 would be a “reasonable.”

* Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* Meanwhile, benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields were hovering close to a one-month high hit earlier this week. [US/]

* In their July meeting minutes released on Wednesday, Fed officials said the pace of future rate hikes would depend on incoming economic data, as well as assessments of how the economy was adapting to the higher rates already approved.

* Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.32% to 985.83 tonnes on Thursday. [GOL/ETF]

* Spot silver fell 0.4% to $19.44 per ounce, platinum eased 0.3% to $908.50, and palladium slipped 0.5% to $2,143.66.

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