Prices for gold firmed on Friday as the U.S. dollar retreated from highs but the bullion was still en route to a weekly fall as traders looked beyond a widely expected pause by the Federal Reserve this month to focus on persistently resilient U.S. data.
Spot gold was up 0.3% to $1,924.98 per ounce early Friday morning, but set for a 0.7% weekly fall. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,949.00.
The dollar eased 0.2% on the day but was still headed for its longest weekly winning streak in nine years, bolstered by a slew of resilient U.S. economic data that has also put to question the end of the Fed’s rate-hike cycle.
Data this week showed the U.S. services sector gained steam in August, while jobless claims fell unexpectedly last week to the lowest level since February, indicating a still-tight job market.
Higher interest rates boost returns on competing safe-haven Treasury bonds, which are set for their first weekly rise in three, making non-interest-bearing gold less attractive.
Silver rose 0.6% to $23.08 U.S. per ounce and platinum gained 0.2% to $905.34 U.S.. However, both were set for their worst weeks since June 23.
Palladium was up 0.6% to $1,218.77 U.S..