Futures & Commodities

Gold down on day but up on week, outlook soft

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Gold prices slipped on Friday as a recovering dollar pulled them off a 3-1/2 month high, but the metal still eked out a weekly rise after gaining in recent sessions on bets against a U.S. interest rate hike.

Weak buying support for physical bullion markets since Thursday's rally added to the pressure on gold, traders said.

"I really don't see much progress for gold in the coming week, given that there'll be no meeting or minutes of the Fed that could really move the dollar," said Carlos Sanchez, director of commodities and asset management at New York's CPM Group.

"Barring any untoward move, we could back in a trading range, with $1,190 being the high," he added.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled down $4.40, or 0.4 percent, at $1,182.10 an ounce. , or bullion, was down 0.5 percent at $1,176.66 an ounce.

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For the week, both the futures and spot markets rose by about 2 percent, accounting for gains in five earlier sessions that culminated in Thursday's highs above $1,191, a peak since late June.

The dollar climbed a second day from a seven-week low against a basket of currencies.

Gold is holding near its 200-day moving average, a level it broke this week for the first time since May.

Not many are confident it will rise much further due to conflicting bets that the Federal Reserve will only raise rates next year, versus expectations among some that a hike was still possible by December.

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"There is still high uncertainty in the market about when the Fed will raise rates," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. "Until we have seen the first interest rate hike, or at least the announcement of it, gold should still be under pressure."

Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold shares, rose another 5.1 tons on Thursday to 700 tons, their highest since mid-July.

"We had slightly better U.S. data which saw the dollar rally, so that seems to have scared off some of the gold buyers for the moment," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.

"But if it can consolidate around here and build a base, that's a good platform," he said.

Silver edged down 0.3 percent to $16.03 an ounce. Platinum was up 1.5 percent at $1,016.99 an ounce, while palladium fell 1 percent to $694.75 an ounce.