Gold Set for Weekly Fall

Gold prices edged higher on Friday after falling more than 1% in the previous session, helped by a subdued American dollar, although Federal Reserve’s plans on reducing stimulus to the U.S. economy kept the bullion on track for a third straight week of declines.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,746.84 U.S. per ounce, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 11 at $1,737.46 on Thursday. Prices were down 0.4% for the week.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,747.80.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said tapering process could conclude around the middle of next year, as long as the recovery remains on track, after the central bank’s policy statement this week suggested it may lift interest rates earlier-than-expected.

Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

Silver rose 0.5% to $22.61 U.S. per ounce and was up 1% for the week so far.

Palladium rose 0.5% to $1,992.67 U.S., but was on track for third straight week of decline.

Platinum slipped 0.8% to $980.67 U.S. However, the metal was headed for a 4.3% weekly gain, biggest in six weeks.