Gold futures finished Friday in positive territory, following the first estimate of second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product, which indicated the economy was healthy but slowing and might still warrant an interest-rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
August gold on Comex
added $4.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,419.30 an ounce, after the metal finished 0.6% lower on Thursday, marking its sharpest slide since July 5, according to FactSet data.
For the week, the precious commodity shed 0.5% based on the settlement for the most-active contract on July 19. It was the metal’s first weekly loss in the past three weeks.
Meanwhile, September silver
lost 1.4 cents, or less than 0.1%, to close at $16.397 an ounce, a day after marking the sharpest daily slump since July 5. Gold’s sister metal registered a weekly gain of 1.2%. Silver has been on a tear, post three weeks of gains, including a 6.3% weekly rise last week.
GDP, the official report card on the economy, grew at a 2.1% annual pace from the start of April to the end of June, the government said Friday. Economic growth slowed from a 3.1% gain in the first three months of the year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 1.9% GDP reading.
Although, the reading was healthy, it did reveal some signs of weakness, particularly in business investment, amid the Sino-American tariff dispute, that might give the Fed cause to reduce borrowing cost at the conclusion of its two-day July 30-31 gathering next week, market participants said.
Notably, the report suggests that businesses will eventually cut jobs or reduce worker hours if growth doesn’t pick up.
“This morning’s GDP numbers and some of the other numbers suggest that the economy is not in imminent danger of slowing down, so I think that a quarter-of-a-percentage point” cut is likely, Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals Inc., told MarketWatch.
He said, however, that a “half-a-point cut is now off the table.”
On Thursday, markets retreated after the European Central Bank signaled that it plans to ease monetary policy. Although, the ECB was dovish some investors were disappointed that the central bank didn’t include immediate action or details of its likely efforts.
Still, metals experts say that gold’s uptrend remains in force because the ECB and Fed are likely to be cutting borrowing costs, providing a runway for gold to climb.
“Gold however should see buyers emerge as the Fed is coming with rate cuts because inflation risks are too high,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in New York, in a Friday research note.
shed 1.85 cents, or 0.7%, to end at $2.6850 a pound, with a weekly loss of 2.5%. October platinum
fell $6.20, or 0.7%, to $867.8 an ounce, and has notched a weekly advance of 1.8%. September palladium
gave up $2.90, or 0.2%, to finish at $1,531 an ounce, but logged a weekly climb of 1.5%.
Among exchange-traded funds, SPDR Gold Shares
rose 0.2%, but fell 0.6% on the week, while the iShares Silver Trust
lost 0.3%, and gained 0.9% for the week.