An early version of this column included an incorrect number for the New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index. This has been corrected.
Gold futures fell on Friday, on pace to halt a three-session climb, as Treasury yields and U.S. benchmark stock indexes rose, but the recent run-up in the precious metal set prices up to post the best weekly advance since August.
The selloff Friday followed gold’s inability to hold above $1,800, as well as speculation surrounding the launch of a bitcoin futures ETF possibly next week.
was trading 1.4%, or $24.70, lower at $1,773.20 an ounce on Comex, after picking up 0.2% on Thursday and settling at the highest since Sept. 14, FactSet data show.
For the week, gold is up 0.9%, which would mark its steepest weekly climb since the week ended Aug. 27.
The move up for the week is “not a bad move considering investment demand has been so weak,” Ross Norman, chief executive officer at Metals Daily, told MarketWatch. “My sense is the market needed to move higher after the jobs data miss (NFPs) but wanted to see what the CPI data showed before moving higher.” The consumer price index reading released Wednesday showed a climb to 0.4% in September.
Gold’s gains over the week have been tenuous, analysts say, but partly supported by a more subdued dollar and some retreat in yields for government debt even though the Federal Reserve plans to start to wind down its bond buying program now that the economy is recovering from the pandemic.
The 10-year Treasury note yield
was at around 1.56%, Friday, compared with 1.604% at the end of last week. Meanwhile, the dollar, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, was down 0.1% on the week.
Both factors have provided a pathway higher for assets, such as gold, which are priced in dollars and that don’t offer a coupon like government debt.
“Gold rallied to test the key $1,800 hurdle, where it was met with some resistance on Thursday. But will the metal be able to break this important resistance area today?” wrote Victor Argono, senior analyst at EXANTE.
Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, said that gold’s downside resistance level is closer to around $1,750, if investors are looking for a breaking point in the metal’s move.
“Bears’ next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at this week’s low of $1,749.90,” the Kitco analyst wrote.
Gold held at lower levels early Friday after a report on U.S. retails sales for September showed a climb of 0.7% on the month, above forecast. Retail sales, excluding autos and gas prices, increased 0.8% on the month. Separately, a reading of business conditions in the New York area, the Empire State Manufacturing Index fell to 19.8 in October.
Gold prices briefly pared some of its losses after preliminary estimate of the index of consumer sentiment released Friday by the University of Michigan showed a decline to 71.4 in October from 72.8 in September.
The sharp rise in U.S. September retail sales and its impact will be limited, said Karnani, and a rise in base metals prices will limit gold’s price fall.
On Comex, December copper
added 1.7% to $4.713 a pound. January platinum
rose 0.6% to $1,058.70 an ounce, but December palladium
traded at $2,092.50 an ounce, down 2.7%
Sign up for a brand new MarketWatch newsletter on crypto launching next month. Use this link to subscribe to “Distributed Ledger,” where every week we highlight the most timely news in the crypto and blockchain industry, from developments in digital-asset companies, exchanges, funds and ventures, as well as important sector research and data. And of course, we’ll keep you up to speed on price performance in all the major crypto.
MarketWatch and Barron’s also is gathering the most influential figures in crypto to help identify the opportunities and risks that lie ahead in digital assets on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3. Sign up now!