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Gold set for first weekly gain in five weeks

  • Spot gold may retest resistance zone of $1,297 to $1,299 per ounce, technicals analyst says.
  • The precious metal is up 1.7 percent for the week.
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Gold was on track for its first weekly rise in five weeks on Friday ahead of U.S. inflation data later in the day that could give clues on the pace of U.S. interest rate rises.

Bullion bumped up against strong technical resistance after the dollar and U.S. bond yields fell this week, helping the metal rise to its highest since Sept. 26.

"We've had a good run, and traders are happy to book some profits ahead of $1,300 considering the strong level of resistance," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.

Spot gold rose 0.66 percent to $1,302, rallying after the consumer price index reported a lower increase than forecast. It was set for a weekly gain of 1.4 percent.

Fibonacci resistance and the 50-day moving average come in at around $1,298.

"A close above the psychological $1,300 level would be required for the yellow metal to make a push higher," MKS PAMP trader Tim Brown said in a note.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled higher at $1304.60 an ounce.

Gold is sensitive to rising rates because they push bond yields higher, reducing the attractiveness of non-yielding bullion, and tend to boost the dollar, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies. Minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting released this week showed policymakers remained divided on U.S. inflation prospects.

But markets were still pricing in an 87 percent chance of a December rate hike, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool. Elsewhere, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Thursday defended a pledge to keep interest rates at rock bottom and the Bank of Japan's Haruhiko Kuroda stressed resolve to maintain ultra-loose monetary policy.

A speech by U.S. President Donald Trump outlining a tougher strategy on Iran will add to worries over North Korea and political chaos in Washington and increase demand for gold as a safe haven, Saxo Bank's Hansen said.

"We have Donald Trump in the White House picking a fight with everyone, which is providing some underlying support for gold," he said.

Silver was up 0.87 percent at $17.32 an ounce, hitting its three-week high. Platinum was up 1.15 percent at $943.70 an ounce and palladium was 2.19 percent higher at $994.30.