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Gold ends lower, but manages 1.2% weekly gain

AP

Gold settled slightly lower on Friday, but logged a weekly gain on sagging risk appetite and increasing hopes the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates as soon as early next year.

A day earlier, bullion hit its highest since March 24 at $1,324.40 an ounce as the Fed's March meeting minutes showed officials were not keen on increasing interest rates straight after unwinding bond purchases, as the markets had feared.

Gold futures for June delivery settled 0.1 percent lower at $1,319.00 an ounce, up 1.2 percent on the week. Meanwhile, spot gold dropped 0.1 percent to $1,318 an ounce.

"Gold is supported by the Fed minutes and lower U.S. Treasury yields, which have dropped over the past few days,'' Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said.

Read More Bonds edge higher as stock losses spur safety bid

"But looking forward, our view is for lower prices because the U.S. economic indicators are starting to improve compared to the start of the year.''

Global shares dropped sharply, while the dollar edged up 0.1 percent versus a basket of currencies but was still down around 1 percent for the week. The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell to their lowest since Feb. 27 at 2.62 percent, which is seen as positive for gold.

Data on Friday showed U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in nine months in March.

Gold had fallen to a seven-week low of $1,277.90 on April 1, on signs that strong economic data in the United States could prompt further dollar strengthening and after Fed Chair Janet Yellen on March 19 hinted at the chance of hiking interest rates in the first half of 2015.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
GOLD
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GOLD/USD
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SILV/USD
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SILVER
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PALL/USD
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PLAT/USD
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—By Reuters with CNBC

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