Gold futures climb nearly 2% for the week

San Francisco (June 13)   Gold futures settled only slightly higher for the session but scored a gain of nearly 2% for the week as a rally a day earlier on growing turmoil in Iraq helped lift prices to their highest settlement in three weeks.

Gold for August delivery  GCQ4 +0.28%    rose 10 cents to settle at $1,274.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading in a tight range between a high of $1,277.60 and a low of $1,270.90. For the week, prices climbed 1.7%, based on the most-active contracts. They settled at their highest level since May 23.

“The geopolitical events currently unfolding in Iraq was just the boost that gold needed,” said Richard Gotterer, managing director and senior financial adviser at Wescott Financial Advisory Group. However on Friday, investors digested the latest news and “seem OK with taking a wait-and-see approach.”

“Events that unfold over the weekend may push gold higher or lower,” he said. “But investors are going to key in on next week’s FOMC meeting.” The Federal Reserve will conclude a two-day meeting with a policy statement on Wednesday.

On Thursday, gold climbed 1%, while the Dow industrials endured a triple-digit decline.

“After months of treading water, gold traders have become more circumspect and want to see if these price gains stick before getting more aggressive,” said Vedant Mimani, lead portfolio manager of the Atyant Capital Global Opportunities Fund. “Gold traders will be keeping an eye on Iraq to see if things escalate or simmer down.” Read more: 5 things you need to know about Iraq

Sunni-led Islamist militants in Iraq gained control of two new towns in the country’s east on Friday, according to the BBC. Earlier in the week, the rebels — led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) — seized the towns of Mosul and Tikrit in the north.

In U.S. economic news on Friday, producer prices unexpectedly sank in May, while consumer sentiment data showed a decline in June to the lowest level in three months.

Members of the Kurdish Peshmerga force secure an area west of the northern city of Kirkuk. 
Looking ahead, Julian Phillips, founder of and contributor to, said gold prices may drift higher “due to the underlying demand from Asia and more demand from the U.S. due to the [Federal Reserve’s ] ‘new normal’ economic environment” of long-term low growth and low rates.

Elsewhere in metals trading, July silver  SIN4 +0.78%    tacked on 12 cents, or 0.6%, to end at $19.655 an ounce. It gained of roughly 3.5% on the week.

July platinum  PLN4 -0.48%  continued to lose ground after the prior session’s retreat, sliding $6.30, or 0.4%, to $1,435 an ounce. September palladium  PAU4 -0.61%   , which was hit even harder on Thursday, fell $6.80, or 0.8%, to $812.60 an ounce. Both metals saw losses on the week following news of progress towards a resolution to the mining strike in South Africa.