MCX Gold ended little changed on Friday, after weaker-than-expected figures on U.S. fourth quarter growth dampened expectations for a faster rate of interest rate
hikes this year. The precious metal was 1.35% lower for the week, as the stronger U.S. dollar weighed.
The annual rate of economic growth slowed to 1.9% in the three months to December the Commerce Department reported Friday, slowing sharply from the
3.5% rate of growth seen in the third quarter.
The economy grew just 1.6% in 2016 as a whole, the slowest rate of growth since 2011.
The slowdown in growth prompted speculation that the Federal Reserve will avoid hiking interest rates too quickly.
Investors also remained cautious as they pondered the economic implications of President Donald Trump’s pledges of increased fiscal spending, tax cuts and
The dollar had been under heavy pressure since Donald Trump’s inauguration last Friday amid concerns over a lack of clarity on his economic policies and fears
that his protectionist trade stance could hit corporate profits and act as a drag on growth.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $17.16 a troy ounce late Friday and ended the week little changed.
Oil futures finished lower on Friday, logging a modest weekly loss, as investors turned their attention to rising production in the U.S. and away from OPEC and
other producers’ commitment to curbing global oversupply. For the week, New York-traded oil futures lost 5 cents, or about 0.1%.
Prices dropped to the lowest levels of the session after oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said late Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S.
increased by 15 last week, the 12th gain in 13 weeks.
U.S. oil production has been rising, with the International Energy Agency forecasting total U.S. output growth of 320,000 bpd in 2017 to an average of 12.8
Natural gas futures slipped 3.9 cents, or nearly 1.2%, to $3.358 per million British thermal units. It posted a weekly gain of around 0.3%.
LME copper futures edged down on Friday, pulling back from a two-month high as the dollar strengthened, with trading volumes lean as the week-long Lunar
New Year holiday kicked off in China.
Copper prices hovered near a 19-month high as the market awaited news of a potential strike at the world’s largest mine.
Copper’s rally was spurred by fears over potential disruption of supply from Indonesia and Chile.
In the week ahead, markets will be paying close attention to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January as well as Wednesday’s policy statement by the
Fed. Investors will also be watching central bank meetings in Japan and the UK.