Gold heading for worst weekly run of the year

Bloomberg.- Prices are poised to drop for a fourth week, the longest streak of losses this year, after hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials, better-than-forecast American factory orders and a stronger dollar. Fears over a potential conflict with North Korea have cooled, reducing demand for a haven.

Bullion steadied at $1,268.41 an ounce on Friday, after falling to a two-month low yesterday. Prices have slumped 6 percent since early September.

The Fed has recently reinforced intentions to normalize monetary policy and a rate hike in December is now increasingly priced in,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Widmer wrote in a report dated Oct. 2. “This is bearish in an environment where inflation has not yet picked up, so we see only limited upside to gold into year-end.

Investors will be watching for U.S. payroll and unemployment data later today. Fed funds futures now indicate a more than 70 percent chance of a rate hike by December.

Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said moderate growth and his outlook for higher inflation will allow the U.S. central bank to raise interest rates, while his counterpart in Philadelphia Patrick Harker signaled he’s anticipating an increase at the end of the year.

Gold is also floundering on lack of support from Chinese markets during the week-long national holiday and dollar strength, according to Brian Lan, managing director of Singapore-based GoldSilver Central Pte.

In other precious metals:

-Spot silver traded at $16.6059 an ounce, heading for a fourth weekly drop.
-Platinum added 0.5 percent this week to $916.58 an ounce, snapping three weeks of declines.
-Palladium added 0.5 percent to $941.41 an ounce for the week.


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