October 26, 2018
PRECIOUS-Gold on track for longest string of weekly gains since Jan
(Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Friday but remained on track to rise for the fourth straight week, the longest string of weekly gains since January, amid increasing worries over the outlook for U.S. corporate earnings and global economic slowdown.
Asian shares slipped again on Friday morning, despite a bounce on Wall Street overnight.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,231.76 an ounce at 0416 GMT. It was up 0.5 percent for the week. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,234.60 an ounce.
"This (Friday's slow trading) is just a temporary lull in a more structural move higher in the coming days... Over the last 24 hours, the rebound in equity markets probably just has held off the impetus that we saw," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.
Political and economic uncertainties including tensions between Saudi Arabia and the West, uncertainty surrounding Italy's budget, and Brexit among others are likely to push gold prices higher in the medium term, he added.
Gold prices have gained about 6 percent after falling in mid-August to their lowest since January 2017 at $1,159.96 an ounce.
However, the yellow metal has declined about 10 percent from its April peak after investors preferred the dollar as the U.S.-China trade war unfolded against a background of higher U.S. interest rates.
"Gold markets have entered a new trading zone of $1,228-$1,238, with investor mood swings on the S&P steering the ship," said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA in Singapore.
However, a hawkish nod and an optimistic view of the U.S. economy from Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, U.S. President Donald Trump's most recent addition to the Federal Reserve Board, has increased the odds of a rate hike in December, denting the appeal of gold slightly, he added.
Third-quarter U.S. GDP data is due on Friday and a lower-than-expected reading could cause concerns about economic growth momentum and whether that could possibly lead to a change in the Fed's monetary tightening path.
The dollar traded in tight ranges against most of its peers on Friday as investor appetite for riskier assets remained shaky.
A target range of $1,252-$1,263 per ounce has been aborted for spot gold, as it failed again to break a resistance at $1,238, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, palladium was up 0.1 percent at $1,100.49 an ounce, but away from a record high of $1,150.50 an ounce hit on Tuesday.
"Concerns around U.S. sanctions on Russia have eased a little bit, so not surprising to see investors lock in some of the gains (in palladium) achieved in the past week. But it still looks fairly constructive at least in the short-term," ANZ's Hynes said.
Silver fell 0.3 percent to $14.56 per ounce, and platinum was down 0.4 percent at $819.45 an ounce.