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Futures & Commodities

Gold falls on dollar, stocks; on track for worst week since August

Gold will continue to shine amid a weak dollar, says author and gold pro Jim Rickards.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices fell 1 percent to its lowest level since the end of January on Friday, and was headed for its biggest weekly fall in 6-1/2 months, as the dollar recovered and global stock advances spurred risk-taking.

Spot gold was $1,295.99 an ounce at 2:04 pm ET, having fallen below the key 1,300 level for the first time since Jan. 28. It is down about 2 percent so far this week, its biggest fall since the week ending Aug. 17.

U.S. gold futures settled $16.90 lower at $1,299.20.

"The U.S. dollar index and two-year Treasury yields have moved up over the last couple of days and these factors have prompted people to take some profits (in gold)," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.

"We are also seeing a continued reaction to Federal Reserve statements where hikes are still on the menu, given that data seems to be fairly strong in the United States."

Better-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product data on Thursday boosted Treasury yields, making non-yielding bullion less attractive.

The data also helped boost the dollar to a 10-week high against the Japanese yen earlier in the session.

Higher global stocks also weighed on gold, analysts said.

"Better sentiment on the stock markets and a reluctance by the physical gold investors are weighing on its price," Commerzbank analysts said.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, on Thursday fell to their lowest level since late December.

Palladium climbed 0.3 percent to $1,547.86 an ounce. The metal hit an all-time peak of $1,565.09 this week and is headed for a fourth consecutive week of gains.

"The threat of a possible strike in South African mines is keeping the prices high," said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of Heraeus Metal Management in New York.

"Even though it has been forestalled by the court of South Africa, the threat still exists, and until that threat is taken off the table we will see both platinum and palladium prices still strong."

Platinum dipped 1.17 percent to $859.81 per ounce, but is on track for a third straight weekly gain.

Spot silver fell 2.48 percent to $15.21 after hitting $15.18, a low last seen on Jan. 22. The metal was down 4 percent so far for the week, its biggest decline since the week of Feb. 2, 2018.