Gold on track for worst week since Feb on hawkish Fed

stacks of gold coins and paper money in close up photography

(Reuters) – Gold prices on Friday were heading for their biggest weekly percentage fall in over four months, weighed by a stronger dollar and hawkish stance on rate hikes from Federal Reserve officials.

Spot gold was up 0.3% to $1,918.79 per ounce by 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), after rising as much as 1.2% on a retreat in U.S. bond yields.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,928.90.

The dollar index rose 0.6% to a one-week peak against its rivals, making gold less attractive for other currency holders.

“(Fed Chair) Powell was pretty hawkish, he favors more interest rate hikes and doesn’t see any rate cuts anytime soon. That is pretty bearish on the metals,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Fed Bank President Mary Daly said in an interview to Reuters that two more rate hikes this year is a “very reasonable” projection.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding it.

Bullion has fallen nearly 2% so far this week and has lost more than $150 since scaling above the key $2,000 level in early May.

“Investor appetite lacks conviction in gold,” Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper said in a note.

“The sharp drop in exposure since the last (Fed) meeting does not necessarily suggest imminent short-covering activity, but it does underscore a shift in sentiment as we head into a seasonally slower period for demand.”

Spot silver rose 0.3% to $22.31 per ounce, but was set for its biggest weekly drop since October 2022. Platinum was down 0.2% to $921.44, on course for its worst week since August 2022.

Palladium steadied at $1,283.29 after hitting its lowest since May 2019 on Thursday.

Palladium could extend this year’s near¬†30% price decline¬†as the rapid rise of electric vehicles threatens to hammer demand.

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