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Gold climbs to one-week high after central bankers' comments

  • Gold rose to its highest in over a week.
  • Silver also hits one-week high.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made no mention of monetary policy in a Friday speech.
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AP

Gold rose to its highest in more than a week on Monday as the dollar weakened and the euro powered ahead after the head of the European Central Bank refrained from talking down the single currency at a high-profile meeting of central bankers.

At the meeting in Jackson Hole in the United States, the ECB's Mario Draghi said the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy was working and that the euro zone's economic recovery has taken hold, refraining from commenting on the euro's recent strength. That was enough to push the euro to its highest in more than 2-1/2 years against the U.S. dollar while the dollar index fell to its lowest since May 2016, lifting gold prices.

"Draghi did not refer to the strong euro being a break on policy normalisation -- this is what it triggered the rally in the euro and the price reaction in gold mirrors what the currencies did," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

Spot gold rose 1.42 percent to $1,309.41 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures settled up 1.3 percent at $1,315.30.

Trade was thin because of a British public holiday.

At Jackson Hole, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made no reference to U.S. monetary policy but instead focused on financial regulations, leading traders to expect interest rates to be raised more slowly. Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

ABN AMRO commodities analyst Georgette Boelle said gold could test the psychologically important level of $1,300 this week if U.S. data is supportive. Further supporting gold was geopolitical uncertainty sparked North American Free Trade Agreement. Speculators raised their net long position in COMEX gold for the sixth straight week in the week to Aug. 22.

In other precious metals, silver was up 2.08 percent at $17.41 an ounce, having touched its highest since Aug. 18 at $17.21.

Platinum rose 1.42 percent to $985.85 and palladium edged up 0.51 percent to $933.75, close to the 16-year high of $940.50 hit on Friday. The strength in palladium seemed to be driven by investment demand rather than fundamental demand for the metal's use in autocatalytic converters, Julius Baer's Menke said.