Gold Ends Lower As Dollar Strengthens; Sheds 1.2% For Week

New York (Sept 19)   Gold futures slipped for third straight session to end at a more than eight-month low on Friday, with the dollar strengthening against a select band of currencies amid continued speculation that US interest rates will rise at a faster pace once monetary tightening begins.

Gold shed about 1.2% for the week.

The precious metal settled at its lowest in over eight months yesterday, with the dollar trending higher after the Federal Reserve's decision.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve slashed its monthly asset purchase to  USD15 billion  and reiterated its pledge to keep interest rates at near-zero for "considerable time" after its bond buying stimulus program ends.

Nevertheless, the Fed, which projected a significant drop in unemployment to below 5% by 2017 and forecast inflation to run closer to target levels of around 2%, gave hints that tightening may be less gradual once underway.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, dropped  USD10  .30% or 0.8% to settle at  USD1,216.60  an ounce on the Comex division of the  New York Mercantile Exchange  on Friday.

Gold for December delivery scaled an intraday high of  USD1,229.20  and a low of  USD1,214.60  an ounce.

On Thursday, gold futures ended lower on speculations that US rate hikes will be at a faster pace once the Federal Reserve begins its monetary tightening, with mixed economic data from the US also impacting gold prices.

Holdings of  SPDR Gold Trust  , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, remained unchanged at 784.22 tons on Friday, from its previous close of 788.40 tons.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 84.73 on Friday, up from its previous close of 84.29 late Thursday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 84.78 intraday and a low of 84.23.

The euro trended lower against the dollar at  USD1.2840  on Friday, as compared to its previous close of  USD1.2922  late Thursday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of  USD1.2929  intraday and a low of  USD1.2830  .

On the economic front today, a Conference Board report on Friday showed a continued increase by its index of leading US economic indicators in August, although the pace of growth slowdown significantly compared to the previous month. The leading economic index edged up by 0.2% in August after showing upwardly revised increases of 1.1% and 0.7% in July and June, respectively. Economists expected the index to climb by 0.4% compared to the 0.9% increase originally reported for July.

Eurozone's current account surplus was largely unchanged from the previous month in July, data from the  European Central Bank  showed Friday. The current account surplus rose slightly to  EUR 18.7 billion  from  EUR 18.6 billion  in June.

Source:  AllianceNews