Gold Steady as Investors Focus on Fed Meeting

Gold prices were flat on Friday supported by the uncertainty around the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy outlook for next year but the metal was on track to mark its biggest weekly decline in five weeks, as a firmer dollar weighed on the sentiment.

Spot gold was steady at $1,241.99 U.S. per ounce, as of early Friday morning. On Thursday, prices fell to their lowest level since Dec. 7 at $1,239.83.

The metal is down about 0.4% so far for the week. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1%at $1,246 U.S. per ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up about 0.1% as investor focus shifted to an expected U.S. interest rate hike next week.

The risk of a U.S. recession in the next two years has risen to 40%, according to a poll of economists who also found a significant shift in expectations toward fewer Fed interest rate rises next year.

Among other precious metals, spot palladium was down 0.5% at $1,254.50 U.S. per ounce, having hit an all-time high of $1,269.25 in the previous session. The metal was on track to mark third week of gains with prices up nearly 2% so far.

Silver fell 0.6% to $14.67 U.S. per ounce and up about 0.4% for the week.

Platinum gained 0.4% to $796.00 U.S. per ounce and was en route to post a weekly gain after declining for five weeks.