By Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures fell Friday, pulling off a two-week high scored a day earlier as the guesswork around Federal Reserve interest-rate tightening continues.
Seemingly dovish July policy meeting minutes issued this week have since been followed up with at least two Fed speakers who expressed general economic optimism and concern for waiting too long to reverse accommodative rates. One member even put what some traders considered to be a no-chance September rate hike back on the table.
The U.S. dollar, trading this week at a seven-week low, improved slightly Friday, cutting demand for precious metals, which are priced in the currency. U.S. stocks, however, were expected lower, which could limit gold’s downside.
December gold GCZ6, -1.02% fell $9.30, or 0.7%, to $1,347.90 an ounce. Gold was clinging to a roughly 0.6% gain for the week, according to FactSet data. Traders will be watching to see if gold closes the week below the closely watched $1,350 line.
September silver SIU6, -2.23% changed hands at $19.30 an ounce, down 44 cents, or 2.2%. That leaves the white metal on track for a more than 1% weekly decline, FactSet data showed.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.45% meanwhile, was up 0.3%. It compares the buck to a basket of six currencies.
An absence of fresh U.S. economic data for Friday could leave market focus on sorting out Fed positioning. San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Thursday signalled support for a rate hike in coming months, even as soon as next month, saying that waiting too long could be costly for the economy.