Gold on track for fourth weekly gain on dovish Fed rhetoric

Gold on track for fourth weekly gain on dovish Fed rhetoric
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BENGALURU (July 16): Gold prices were headed on Friday for a fourth straight weekly gain after the US Federal Reserve allayed investor fears of a faster tightening of monetary policy, though the safe-haven metal was subdued by pressure from a firmer US dollar.

Spot gold was flat at US$1,827.00 per ounce, as of 0351 GMT, having hit a peak since June 16 at US$1,833.65 on Thursday. Bullion gained 1.1% so far for the week.

US gold futures were flat at US$1,828.80.

"This stronger dollar narrative that we're starting to see in the markets is going to limit the upside in gold," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

However, gold is finding support from lower real rates and the fact that some elements of the market think the Fed is not really going to push the envelope for rate hikes, Innes added.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, also considered a hedge against inflation that could result from widespread stimulus measures.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell faced sharp questions about inflation and banking regulation in a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, and repeated his pledge of "powerful support" to complete the US economic recovery.

Making gold expensive for holders of other currency, the US dollar was headed for its best weekly gain in almost a month.

Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.4% to US$2,740.28 per ounce, but was on track for its first weekly decline in four.

"We believe palladium has likely peaked this year and should trade lower into 2022," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said in a note, adding palladium auto-catalyst demand might take a hit as result of substitution from palladium to platinum.

Platinum eased 0.3% to US$1,134.54 per ounce, but was up 2.8% for the week.

Silver rose 0.1% to US$26.34 and was up 1% for the week.