Gold futures edged higher Friday, on track to end an upbeat week on a positive note after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell did nothing to dispel expectations for a rate cut later this month and the U.S. dollar came under renewed pressure.
Gold for August delivery on Comex
rose $2.90, or 0.2%, to $1,409.60 an ounce, and was on track for a weekly rise of 0.7%. September silver
was off 0.1 cent at $15.145 an ounce, but on track for a 0.9% weekly rise.
“The combination of Fed Chair Powell’s dovish testimony this week, solidified cut expectations, [U.S. dollar] moves, equity market records, and global uncertainty have, to put it plainly, solidified upside risk” for gold, wrote Christopher Louney, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in a note.
Powell testified before Congress Wednesday and Thursday. The Fed chief offered no pushback against expectations that policy makers will move to cut rates when they meet July 30-31, with investors penciling in scope for further cuts later in the year.
The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, has seen renewed pressure this week, with the ICE U.S. Dollar
, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, off 0.3% this week. A weaker dollar can be a positive for commodities priced in the unit, as it makes them less expensive to users of other currencies.
“Of course, it was Powell not using this week as an opportunity to talk down rate cut expectations, and instead citing that ‘the uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on t he outlook’ which has solidified the price risks for gold, and our economists now expect the Fed to cut by 25 basis-point in July and have penciled in another 25 [basis-point] cut in September,” Louney said.
The analyst warned, however, that the rally comes with “vulnerabilities,” including the potential for trade tensions to subside, which could erode the metal’s haven appeal.
In other metals trade, October platinum
fell $8.10, or 1%, to $822.80 an ounce, while September palladium
was off $6.10, or 0.4%, to $1,553 an ounce.
rose 0.1 cent to $2.6885 a pound.