Gold advanced to the highest since late August on Friday as expectations firmed for a super-sized interest rate increase from the US Federal Reserve later this month.
Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,716.27 per ounce by 12:05 p.m. ET, on pace for its first weekly gain in a month. US gold futures bounced 0.4% to $1,727.40 per ounce in New York.
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Meanwhile, the dollar dropped to a more than one-week low against its rivals, making greenback-priced bullion less expensive for overseas buyers.
“The US dollar index really dropped sharply overnight and that has supported the gold and silver markets. Also seeing some short covering in the futures markets heading into the weekend,” Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, explained to Reuters.
Bullion has risen from around $1,700 an ounce earlier this week, a level one senior market analyst described as a “danger zone” as it could lose investor support should it fall below that level.
Investors now await US inflation data for August – due early next week – after the recent hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell cemented bets of a large interest rate hike, which could further dampen non-yielding assets like gold.
On Thursday, Powell said the US central bank needed to “act now” and “forthrightly” to bring inflation under control, boosting the prospect of a 75 basis point hike when it meets September 21-22. Expectations also grew that the European Central Bank will lift rates by the same amount in October.
(With files from Bloomberg and Reuters)