By Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures traded lower Friday and were on track for consecutive weekly drops as choppy, earnings-driven stock trading turned positive late in the week and the dollar gained.
August gold GCQ6, -0.69% was down $5.90, or 0.4%, to $1,325.20 an ounce. In Thursday trading, gold logged a wide range between a high of $1,332.30 and a low of $1,310.70, the weakest intraday price since June 23, according to FactSet data. Gold futures looked headed for a weekly loss of about 1%.
“Gold is weaker amid upbeat investor risk attitudes but gold really is chopping about, and looks to end the week about where it started,” said Jim Wyckoff, analyst at Kitco.
The U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.18% gained 0.2% and U.S. stocks are indicated higher. Dollar and stock gains can cut demand for relatively lower-risk precious metals including gold and silver.
September silver SIU6, -0.63% fell 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $19.76. Its midweek close at $19.613 was the lowest settlement since July 1, according to FactSet. Lead-month silver futures looked on track to drop 2.7% this week.
Bigger picture, the dollar gained and precious metals fell this week as even a go-slow Federal Reserve is seen as more likely to raise interest rates sooner than any of its global counterparts. On Thursday, the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at record lows and left the door open to further stimulus. Still, debate over what’s next for global interest rates continues: Asian stock markets fell as absence of stimulus-plan specifics in Europe and Japan shook investor confidence.
Despite the interest-rate tug, global demand looks to underpin gold prices, offsetting dollar- and stock-linked volatility in the near term, said analysts at Commerzbank.