Gold flat, set for weekly fall on hawkish Fed

Gold prices were flat on Friday and set for a weekly loss, pressured by expectations of higher interest rates for a longer period by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

* Spot gold was steady at $1,776.85 per ounce as of 0028 GMT, having fallen more than 1% this week. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,786.80.

* The Fed on Wednesday raised interest rates by 50 basis points as expected, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank would deliver more rate hikes next year even as the economy slips towards a recession.

* Although gold is traditionally known as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties, higher interest rates tend to dim the bullion’s appeal as it increases the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding metal.

* Central banks in Europe on Thursday followed the Fed in slowing the pace of interest rate increases but also offered a similar stark message that financial conditions will continue to tighten even as economic performance deteriorates.

* India plans to invite bids to extract gold from 50 million tonnes of processed ore in a cluster of colonial-era mines in the southern state of Karnataka, a senior government official with direct knowledge of the matter said.

* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.3% to 913.88 tonnes on Thursday.

* Spot silver rose 0.1% to $23.06, platinum lost 0.1% to $1,005.14 and palladium was down 0.2% to $1,787.50.

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