Investing.com - Gold futures ended Friday’s session at the highest level in six weeks, as the U.S. dollar came under heavy selling pressure amid hopes that a deal on an aid payment for Greece is close and following the release of encouraging data out of Germany.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery rose 1.4% on Friday to settle the week at USD1,754.55 a troy ounce, the highest level since October 12.
On the week, gold futures rallied 2.3%.
Gold prices were likely to find support at USD1,720.25 a troy ounce, the low from November 21 and resistance at USD1,774.95, the high from October 12.
Gold’s gains came as the U.S. dollar dropped to a three-week low against the U.S. dollar after Greece said the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its debt-cutting target for the country, suggesting lenders were closer to a deal for a vital aid tranche to be paid.
However, other sources involved in the talks cautioned that the funding gap was far bigger than Greece has suggested.
Talks between finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund ended without a deal on Tuesday, amid disagreements on how best to reduce the country’s debt to sustainable levels.
Investor confidence also strengthened after the German Institute for Economic Research earlier said that its index of business confidence improved to 101.4 in November from a reading of 100.0 the previous month, beating expectations for a decline to 99.5.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, declined 0.76% Friday to settle the week at 80.22, the lowest level since November 2.
Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Gold futures found further support as some technical buying kicked in after prices broke above their 50-day moving average for the first time in a month, triggering fresh buy orders amid bullish chart indicators.
In the coming week, market participants will be focusing on Monday’s meeting of the euro group of finance ministers to discuss unlocking Greece’s next aid installment.
Traders will also monitor developments surrounding the looming “fiscal cliff” in the U.S., approximately USD600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts due to come into effect on January 1.
There are fears the U.S. economy will fall back into a recession, unless a divided Congress and the White House can work out a compromise in the seven weeks left before the January 1 deadline.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for December delivery rallied 2.5% on Friday to settle the week at USD34.21 a troy ounce, the highest level since October 11. On the week, silver futures surged 5.45%.
Meanwhile, copper for December delivery added 0.95% Friday to close the week at USD3.539 a pound.
Copper prices climbed 2.45% on the week after data on Thursday showed manufacturing activity in China expanded for the first time in more than a year last month.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.