By Seher Dareen
(Reuters) – Gold prices fell on Friday and were bound for a weekly dip following indications from U.S. Federal Reserve officials that more interest rate hikes were due as the bank seeks to lower inflation.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,755.15 per ounce by 10:30 a.m. ET (1530 GMT), set for a weekly decline of about 0.8%, its biggest since mid-October.
U.S. gold futures also fell 0.3% to $1,757.40.
The slight pullback in gold after the recent rally has been through a technical retracement in the gold market, said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Future.
The pullback could continue going into next week’s December option expiration, which could cause a further consolidation in gold, Meger added, and that the market overall seems focused on interest rate expectations from the Fed.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston leader Susan Collins said on Friday the central bank has more rate rises ahead of it as it seeks to lower inflation, adding that a 75-bps hike was still on the table.
The dollar index firmed, making gold more expensive for other currency holders, while benchmark U.S. Treasury yields also edged higher. [USD/][US/]
While gold has shed 15% since its March peak after the Fed began tightening monetary policy, it has gained about 7% since the beginning of November as markets started pricing in a slower pace of rate hikes.
Markets currently see an 87% chance of a 50-basis point hike at the Fed’s December meeting.
Although bullion is considered an inflation hedge, higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding. Analysts said institutional investors are wary and further gains for gold could be elusive.
On the physical front, Chinese premiums fell sharply as buying slowed in the top consumer.
Spot silver rose 0.3% to $21.02 per ounce, yet was set for a 3% weekly drop.
Platinum fell 0.1% to $980.17 and palladium fell 2% to $1,966.00, both en route to weekly declines.
(Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
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