Gold slips after promising China data; set for weekly rise

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Gold prices fell on Friday as robust economic data from China boosted hopes of a swift recovery, although bullion was set to rise more than 1% on the week as the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields pulled back from recent highs.

China’s March factory gate prices rose at their fastest annual pace since July 2018, beating estimates. Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,751.86 per ounce by 0423 GMT, having hit its highest since March 1 at $1,758.45 an ounce on Thursday.

U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,753.40 per ounce Still, the metal has gained nearly 1.5% this week, after two weeks of losses.

 “The (falling) dollar and Treasury yields have helped gold this week along with the Fed’s dovish tone, that has been topped with lockdowns in Europe and parts of Asia with some negative vaccine results,” said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central. “On the other side, a strong data set from the United States have led some short-term investors to book some profits after the metal climbed to a one-month high on Thursday.”

Recent robust economic data, driven by massive stimulus measures, has dulled safe-haven demand for bullion. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday signalled the central bank is nowhere near to reducing its support for the U.S. economy and cautioned that the anticipated price increase this year is likely to be temporary.

“The likely rise in inflation April could support gold prices in the coming weeks, especially if it rises faster than bond yields. In the more medium term, the rise in bond yields is likely to put renewed pressure on gold,” Fitch Solutions said in a note.

Rising bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

Silver fell 0.3% to $25.35.

Palladium was steady at $2,625.03. Platinum fell 0.6% to $1,222.81.

Photo: EPA-EFE/MAHMOUD KHALED

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