Jan 21 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged higher on Friday and were set for a second weekly gain, as safe-haven demand and lower U.S. bond yields lifted the metal’s appeal, while investors look forward to a Federal Reserve meeting for clues to its tightening timeline.
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,840.59 per ounce, as of 0414 GMT, inching towards Thursday’s two-month high of $1,847.72. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.1% at $1,840.80.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields fell, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Gold managed to hold its ground even as the U.S. Fed became more hawkish, and that’s probably because real rates are negative, DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak said.
All eyes are now on the Federal Open Market Committee meeting scheduled on Jan. 25-26 for any updates on the Fed’s plans for rate hikes amid broadening inflationary risks.
Although gold is usually perceived as an inflationary hedge, it is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which reduce the appeal of holding non-interest-bearing bullion.
Gold has gained about 1.3% so far this week and is poised for a second weekly rise this month.
A little bit of rumbling to the upside in gold could be an initial knee-jerk appreciation that risk is actually tilted toward a dovish surprise, even if the Fed doesn’t do anything different, just because of where the market’s state of mind is, Spivak said.
Spot silver was flat at $24.42 an ounce, but is set for its best week in a year, having risen 6.4% so far. Palladium fell 0.8% to $2,042.34, but was poised for a weekly gain of about 8.6%.
Spot platinum dropped 0.8% to $1,031.45.
(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam and Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)