Gold inches higher; set for third weekly fall as rate-hike bets mount

Gold edged up on Friday but was headed for a third straight weekly drop, as data pointing at a resilient U.S. economy bolstered the likelihood of Federal Reserve keeping interest rates higher for longer and pinned the dollar near recent peaks.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold XAU= inched up 0.1% to $1,697.80 per ounce, as of 0055 GMT but was down 2.2% for the week so far.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 were flat at $1,709.10.

The dollar index USD= was slightly off a 20-year peak scaled in the previous session and was on track for a third straight weekly rise. USD/

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a two-month low last week, while layoffs dropped in August. (Full Story)

U.S. manufacturing grew steadily last month but factory activity in China, the euro zone and Britain fell as Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s zero COVID-19 curbs continued to hurt businesses, surveys showed on Thursday, although there were indications cost pressures were starting to ease. (Full Story)

Major central banks are expected to continue with aggressive monetary policy tightening to rein in sky-high inflation but is also fanning fears of an economic slowdown.

Even though gold is seen as a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties, higher interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding the bullion.

Persistent weakness last month in China’s property market and manufacturing sector has renewed risks to the major gold consumer’s recovery already threatened by disruptions from widespread COVID restrictions. (Full Story)

Spot silver XAG= dipped 0.1% to $17.83 per ounce, platinum XPT= edged 0.2% higher to $829.87 and palladium XPD= rose 0.3% to $2,018.63.

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