Gold gains as investors bank on eventual U.S. stimulus

A worker tends to gold bars at a precious metals plant.
Andrew Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold rose on Friday en route to a second straight weekly gain as investors bet on an imminent U.S.
COVID-19 relief package.

Spot gold advanced 0.3% to $1,839.90 per ounce, having earlier dipped as much as 0.6%. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.3% to $1,843.60.

"We still believe the stimulus package will get put forth and that will continue to be the underlying support behind gold and silver moving forward," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

He added the stalling of the relief plan in the U.S. Congress had prompted an initial pullback in gold. Gold has been under some pressure after reaching up close to the $1,875 level earlier this week amid a slight bounce in the dollar off recent lows, Meger said.

Gold's latest gains came despite a stronger greenback, with the dollar index headed for its first weekly gain in four. U.S. lawmakers sought some more time to hammer out an agreement on a stimulus package amid mounting pressure from weak employment data and surging coronavirus infections.

"You're going to see gold move higher next year, but this year, it will be fairly choppy going into year end," said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank.

Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has gained over 21% this year, helped by massive amounts of stimulus to support pandemic-hit economies.

"We will get a stimulus deal by the end of the month and the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain its very loose monetary stance, and that should help underpin gold into 2021," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

Silver rose 0.3% to $24.03 per ounce. Palladium fell 0.2% to $2,327.31 per ounce and platinum declined 0.8% to $1,018.75.