Futures & Commodities

Gold scales near 2-week peak as dollar dips after US GDP data

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

Gold jumped to a near 2-week high on Friday, en route to its best week in 12, as the dollar slipped on tepid inflation data from the United States, which outweighed an overall strong first-quarter growth report.

Spot gold gained 0.8 percent to $1,287.62 per ounce, after hitting its highest since April 16 at $1,288.

The metal, which reached its lowest since late December on Tuesday at $1,265.90, is up 1 percent so far this week, and set to post its best weekly gain since Feb 1.

U.S. gold futures rose $9.10 higher at $1,288.80. 

"The main reason is the fact that dollar is pulling lower today. It's a bit of head-scratcher, that the dollar is so low on a great GDP number in the U.S.," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

"(However) We have be cautious about this move. It looks like a false positive because I expect equities to continue to be strong next week, pressuring the precious metals."

The dollar index fell, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, after an overall strong U.S. first-quarter growth report was overshadowed by soft inflation data.

The core personal expenditures consumption price index figure, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, increased at only a 1.3% rate versus 1.8% in the prior quarter.

"Also, there seems to be a bit of short covering as we are heading in to the weekend and some technical buying," said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with Kitco metals.

Even strong data out of the United States was unlikely to change the Federal Reserve's monetary strategy, analysts said.

According to a Reuters poll, major central banks are done tightening policy as the global growth outlook has softened across developed and emerging economies, with scant prospects for a surge in inflation.

"Despite a signicant drop in long-term real rates, gold prices have remained at year-to-date as recession fears have receded since late last year," Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Central bank gold purchases have been running strong this year, which could support prices, the bank said.

While gold has fallen more than 4 percent from a peak in February, bullion's recovery from this week's four-month low is painting a neutral picture in technical charts.

Gold looks neutral in a $1,274-$1,284 range, and an escape could suggest a direction, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.8 percent to $15.06 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.8 percent to $898.05.

Palladium advanced 3 percent to $1,457.06 per ounce, its highest level since March 27.