Gold futures pop higher, poised for strong weekly gain

Gold futures pop higher, poised for strong weekly gain

Silver on track for best weekly gain, up 4.5%, in 5 1/2 months

Gold futures were headed higher on Friday, with bullion set for a sharp weekly gain, as investors turned to precious metals amid growing concerns that rising inflation in the aftermath of COVID-19 may erode purchasing power.

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Gold is often perceived as a hedge against rising inflation.

December gold GCZ21, +1.45% GC00, +1.45% was trading $11.60, or 0.7%, higher at $1,793.20 an ounce, following a 0.2% slip on Thursday. For the week, however, gold is up 1.4% and has posted weekly gains in four of the past five weeks. If bullion’s weekly gain holds, it will mark the sharpest weekly rise since the period ended Aug. 27.

Investors are watching for comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell later Friday, which will be the final comments from the central banker this month before a November policy meeting which is expected to mark the start of tapering of monthly purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

The expected reduction in asset purchases, which has been supportive of healthy financial conditions, have been driving yields higher, weighing on bullion buying.

Gold’s value has been somewhat rangebound since July as a result of concerns about global growth and inflation, which are bullish for the yellow metal, and rising yields, which can undercut the appeal of non-yielding precious metals.

Meanwhile, December silver SIZ21, +2.28% SI00, 2.38% was trading 22 cents, or 0.9%, higher at $24.41 an ounce, following a 1.1% drop for gold’s sister metal. For the week, silver is up 4.5%, which would represent its best weekly gain since the weekly stretch ended May 7.

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