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Gold set for fifth weekly gain as geopolitical risks buoy demand

Friday,   19-Apr-2024   10:28 AM (IST)

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. Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at US$2,388.49 per ounce, as of 0111 GMT. US gold futures edged 0.2 per cent higher to US$2,403.30 per ounce. Bullion rose 3 per cent 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 labour 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 US$30-per-ounce milestone after its 26 per cent 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. Spot silver rose 0.7 per cent to US$28.41 per ounce, platinum was up 0.6 per cent at US$940.70, while palladium fell 0.6 per cent at US$1,016.25.