Gold Prices Edge Down After Stronger U.S. Dollar

Gold Prices Edge Down After Stronger U.S. Dollar
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Gold futures came under slight pressure Friday as the dollar moved a little higher after a pair of U.S. economic reports came in mixed.

Gold for February delivery GC2G -0.13%  slipped $1.90 to $1,608.80 an ounce.

Other metals futures, for March delivery, managed to hold the line on gains.

Silver SI2H +0.66%  rose 0.8% to $29.27 an ounce, while palladiumPA2H +1.69%  extended gains to 1.7%, trading at $665.30 an ounce.

March copper HG2H +1.65%  stayed up 1.6% to $3.47 a pound.

January platinum PL2F +0.51%  added 0.5% to $1,431 an ounce.

The small decline in gold prices came as the dollar turned up, in part as Italy’s 10-year yields again topped 7%, spooking holders of the euro EURUSD -0.04%  . 

The greenback initially recovered after the Commerce Department said U.S. orders for durable goods rose 3.8% in November, more than many economists expected. 

Personal spending rose 0.1% last month, a little less than forecast.

Analysts also noted that volatility may be higher because of very thin trading volume, exaggerating moves that might otherwise be of minimal significance.

For the week, gold is up 0.7%.

Still, analysts say gold has another shot at reaching $2,000 an ounce next year.

Gold declined Thursday, extending a loss from the previous session. 

James Steel, bullion analyst at HSBC, noted that end-of-the-year portfolio adjustment by funds may have contributed to the recent declines in the precious metal. Moreover, a further decline in gold holdings by exchange-traded funds may add downward pressure, he said.

However, recent action by the European Central Bank to provide a massive amount of loans to euro-area banks at inexpensive rates would prevent liquidity shortages and may be supportive of the euro, in turn likely aiding gold prices.

Expectations that China’s central bank may pursue a more accommodative monetary policy was also supportive of demand for gold, Steel said.

Deborah Levine and V. Phani Kumar | Market Watch

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