Gold Could be "in the Green" on Week

Gold rose on St. Patrick's Day Friday and was on course for its first weekly gain since February. This, as the U.S. dollar hit a five-week low following the Federal Reserve's cautious message on interest rates, thus making bullion cheaper for holders of non-U.S. currencies.

The U.S. central bank raised rates on Wednesday as expected, but left its earlier forecast of three rate increases this year unchanged, disappointing some investors who had hoped for hints of a possible fourth hike in 2017.

Meantime, spot gold was was up 0.3% at $1,230.28 U.S. an ounce early Friday, taking its gains this week to 2%. On Thursday the metal hit $1,233.13 U.S., its highest since March 6.

Investors were also looking ahead to the Group of 20 finance leaders' meeting in Germany this weekend, where any attempt by the Trump administration to pursue protectionist policies could fuel demand for gold as a safe haven.

However, strong U.S. economic growth will inevitably push the Fed to ratchet up rates, which experts say will pressure gold. These observers foresee gold averaging $1,140 U.S. in the second quarter.

Early Friday, spot silver rose 0.3% to $17.33 U.S. an ounce, having hit a peak since March 7 in the prior session.

Platinum crept up 0.03% to $953.75 U.S., while palladium was up 1.8% at $777.70 U.S.