Investing.com - Concerns over geopolitical tensions and an ongoing trade spat between China and the U.S. may support safe haven demand for gold this week but the precious metal will remain vulnerable to any gains in the dollar in the face of expectations for higher U.S. interest rates.
Gold futures for June delivery settled up 0.44% at $1,347.80 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, prices were up 0.88%.
Gold prices hit highs of $1,369.40 on Wednesday, the strongest level of the year, propelled higher by concerns over a simmering U.S.-China trade spat and heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
On Thursday the precious metal reversed these gains as cooling tensions over Syria and hawkish sounding Federal Reserve minutes weighed.
The minutes of the Fed’s March meeting showed that officials believe that the economy will continue to firm and that inflation will rise towards their 2% target in the coming months.
Some investors believed the minutes bolstered the case for a faster pace of monetary tightening by the Fed, a potentially bearish development for gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.
The dollar was little changed late Friday, with the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, steady at 89.51.
A stable dollar has checked gold’s gains in recent weeks, as a stronger dollar makes gold and other dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver settled up 1.04% at $16.64 a troy ounce, bringing the week’s gains to 1.81%.
Platinum settled at $934.30, almost unchanged for the day to end the week 1.49% higher.
Among base metals, copper for May delivery was steady at $3.063 in late trade for a weekly gain of 0.43%.
Copper prices are down around 6% so far this year after hitting a four year high in December amid concerns that protectionist trade policies and the prospect of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, could hit demand.
Metals traders will be keeping a close eye on geopolitical developments in the coming week amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the wake of U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria and the latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia.
Concerns over a U.S.-China trade spat will also remain in focus as the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank get underway on Monday.
Traders will also be looking ahead to U.S. economic reports, in particular Monday’s retail sales data and a slate of Fed speakers that may fuel U.S. dollar volatility which could impact gold.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, April 16
The week long spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group are due to get underway in Washington.
Switzerland is to publish data on producer price inflation.
The U.S. is to release data on retail sales and manufacturing activity in the New York region.
Meanwhile, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic is to speak at an event in Alabama.
Tuesday, April 17
The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.
China is to release data on first quarter economic growth, fixed asset investment and industrial production.
The UK is to publish its latest employment report.
The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.
Canada is to produce data on manufacturing sales.
The U.S. is to report on building permits, housing starts and industrial production.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams is due to speak at an event in Madrid while Fed Governor Randal Quarles is to speak in Washington.
Wednesday, April 18
The UK is to publish data on inflation.
The euro zone is to release revised inflation data.
The Bank of Canada is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.
New York Fed President William Dudley is to speak at an event in New York while Fed Governor Randal Quarles is to speak in Washington.
Thursday, April 19
New Zealand is to release inflation data.
Australia is to publish its latest employment report.
The UK is to produce data on retail sales.
The U.S. is to release the weekly jobless claims report along with data on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.
Fed Governor Lael Brainard and Fed Governor Randal Quarles are due to appear at separate events in Washington.
Friday, April 20
Canada is to round up the week with data on retail sales and inflation.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams is to speak at an event in California.