Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Bengaluru — Gold edged lower on Friday, on track to post its worst week in two months, as positive US economic data and optimism over an interim US-China trade deal boosted appetite for riskier assets and dented some of bullion’s allure.

Spot gold edged 0.1% lower to $1,550.96/oz by 1.18am GMT. For the week, prices have declined 0.7% so far, its lowest since the week ended November 8. US gold futures was flat at $1,550.80/oz.

Asian equities rose on the back of global stocks and Wall Street scaling new records, on encouraging US economic data and strong corporate earnings.

Data from the US showed retail sales rose for a third straight month in December and the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped for a fifth straight week last week.

A gauge of manufacturing activity in the US mid-Atlantic region rebounded in January to its highest in eight months.

Meanwhile, from Huawei to the South China Sea, deep political rifts between Beijing and Washington are set to persist, despite a trade relations breakthrough, as the US pushes back against an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.13% to 879.49 tonnes on Thursday.

Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corporation’s fourth-quarter gold production estimates came above analysts’ expectations on Thursday, as its Nevada Gold Mines joint venture with Newmont Corp yielded more of the precious metal.

Palladium advanced 0.4% to $2,321.67/oz after hitting a record peak of $2,395.13/oz on Thursday and was set for its highest weekly gain since January 2017.

Silver fell 0.2% to $17.91/oz, while platinum rose 0.3% to $1,007.52/oz, after hitting its highest since February 2017 at $1,041.05/oz in the previous session.


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