Gold prices unchanged, set for second straight weekly fall

Gold prices unchanged, set for second straight weekly fall

Gold prices were flat in early Asian trade on Friday, as a firm offset ease in early-tapering bets, although the precious metal was headed for a second consecutive weekly decline.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold was unchanged at $1,752.78 per ounce by 0101 GMT. It is down 0.5% so far for the week.

US gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,754.40.

The dollar held firm near a more than four-month high, hit earlier this week, underpinned by data showing US producer prices posted their largest annual increase in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits fell again last week as the economic recovery continues to be bumpy, a separate Labor Department report showed on Thursday.

Wednesday’s US consumer price report hinted that inflation may have peaked, reassuring investors that the Fed will not feel obligated to hasten plans to rein in emergency-level support of the economy, but they remained worried that rising prices could continue to weigh on everything from bond prices to corporate margins.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, but a Fed rate hike will increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar.

Silver rose 0.2% to $23.19 per ounce.

fell 0.2% to $1,015.90 and palladium eased 0.3% to $2,616.80.

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