Gold Braces for Third Weekly Loss

Gold prices were set for their third straight weekly loss despite being steady on Friday, as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments that pandemic-era asset purchases could end sooner than previously anticipated dented bullion’s appeal.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,770.80 U.S. per ounce, after hitting its lowest in nearly a month on Thursday.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,770.70.

If non-farm payrolls figures are strong, it could add to the dollar strength and gold could slide further towards $1,750 and below, experts say, adding that the Fed’s narrative of inflation and rate hikes are keeping investors away from buying the metal.

A stronger dollar dents gold’s appeal for those holding other currencies.

Gold has declined 1.1% so far in the week as several Fed officials suggested the central bank might accelerate stimulus tapering, with Powell saying that decision could be reached in its upcoming policy meeting.

Gold is often viewed as an inflation hedge, but reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding non-interest yielding bullion.

Meanwhile, the Omicron coronavirus variant has sparked fears over the pace of the economic recovery, weighing on risk sentiment globally.

Spot silver fell 0.3% to $22.32 U.S. per ounce.

Platinum rose 0.2% to $939.34 U.S. and palladium gained 1.6% to $1,809.56 U.S.