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Gold prices rose on Friday, on track for their fifth weekly gain, with investors gravitating towards safe-haven assets as political uncertainty in the Middle East overshadowed pressures from the prospect of higher-for-longer US interest rates.

Gold shines as geopolitical tensions offset easing US rate-cut bets

Fundamentals

  • Spot gold was up 0.4% at $2,388.49 per ounce, as of 0111 GMT. US gold futures edged 0.2% higher to $2,403.30 per ounce. Bullion rose 3% so far this week.

  • The US announced new sanctions on Iran, targeting its unmanned aerial vehicle production after its attack on Israel.

  • Federal Reserve policymakers have rallied around the idea of holding borrowing costs where they are until probably far into the year, given slow and lumpy progress on inflation and a still-strong US economy.

  • The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits was unchanged at low levels last week, pointing to continued labor market strength.

  • Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said that if inflation progress stalls, central bankers would need to consider an interest rate hike.

  • Higher interest rates reduce the appeal of holding non-yielding gold.

  • Silver may have the power to reach the $30-per-ounce milestone after its 26% surge in March-April on the back of gold’s record run and copper’s strength, even though analysts say the metal is ripe for a technical correction.

  • South Africa’s Sibanye Stillwater will close its 4 Belt shaft at Marikana and shed 855 jobs after failing to return it to profitability due to low platinum group metal (PGM) prices.

  • Asian markets will hope to end a bruising week on a positive note, but fraying global sentiment and a reluctance to take on much risk ahead of the weekend amid persistent Middle East tensions could limit any upside.

  • Spot silver rose 0.7% to $28.41 per ounce, platinum was up 0.6% at $940.70, while palladium fell 0.6% at $1,016.25.

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