|Gold slips ahead of holiday weekend|
Gold futures on Friday retreated from their highest settlement price in a week, slipping ahead of the holiday weekend as investors await another batch of U.S. economic data.
Gold for December delivery was down $4.40, or 0.3%, to $1,286.00 U.S. an ounce. September silver lost nine cents, or 0.5%, to $19.44 U.S. an ounce. Bullion rose 0.4% in August, and gained 0.6% on the week.
A day earlier, gold prices advanced as investors moved away from stocks and sought safe havens in the face of the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine has pushed palladium prices higher, as Russia is one of the world’s top producers of the precious metal.
On Friday, however, gold was under pressure alongside the euro and declining inflation in the euro-zone in August.
Gold is often sought after as a protection against inflation.
Elsewhere in metals trading, September silver declined nearly 14 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $19.398 U.S. an ounce on Comex. Silver lost nearly 5% in August, and rose less than 0.1% on the week.
October platinum slipped 50 cents to settle at $1,424.70 U.S. an ounce, while December palladium advanced $11.45 to $909.55 U.S. an ounce.
Concerns about supplies hurled palladium to a 13-year high on Friday. Russia produces nearly 40% of palladium output, with South Africa a close second with 38%, according to some experts.
Ukrainian separatists, who Western powers say are backed by Russia, advanced toward a key port city, according to reports Friday.
Meanwhile, high-grade copper for September delivery which is coming off a third-straight session in the red, climbed one cent to $3.1350 U.S. a pound.