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Gold Steadies, Still Bound for Weekly Drop

Gold prices steadied on Friday after a sharp selloff in the previous session, as traders digested rate-hike remarks from global central banks, but the metal was set for its first weekly drop in seven amid a strong dollar.

Spot gold were flat at $1,912.16 per ounce, after shedding 2% in a sell-off on Thursday that was fueled by a firmer dollar and profit-taking. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3% at $1,926 per ounce.

Gold prices have gained about $300 since November on expectations of softer rate hikes from the U.S. central bank, as a lower interest rate environment reduces the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Following the Fed’s 25 basis-point rate increase after a year of larger hikes, both the ECB and the BoE raised their interest rates by 50 basis points as expected on Thursday.

Global central banks that raced to raise interest rates last year amid soaring inflation are now laying the groundwork in unison for a pause that, while not yet promised, is coming into view for later this year.

The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, was up 0.1%, keeping a leash on gold prices.

Investors are now awaiting the monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls data due later in the day for further direction.