Investing.com - Gold prices ended higher on Friday following reports that former national security adviser Michael Flynn is prepared to testify against President Donald Trump in the ongoing Russia investigation.
Gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.51% at $1,279.70 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, paring back gains after rising as high as $1,288.60 earlier.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday morning to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in December 2016. He also admitted to speaking with a top member of the Trump transition team regarding his communications with the Russian ambassador.
The news sent the dollar lower and bolstered safe haven demand for the precious metal.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.17% to 92.81 late Friday after going as low as 92.55 earlier.
A weaker dollar typically tends to support gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency and becomes more affordable to foreign buyers when the dollar declines.
The dollar pared back some of its losses after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans had the votes to pass a sweeping tax-overhaul bill after last-minute negotiations to address concerns about the bill’s impact on the federal deficit, healthcare and property taxes.
The Trump administration has said its tax cuts will generate growth and spark inflation, which investors expect will prompt a faster pace of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve.
Expectations for higher interest rates are typically negative for gold as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets like Treasury’s when borrowing costs rise.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was slightly lower, slipping 0.16% to $16.35 a troy ounce. It was down 3.85% for the week.
Platinum settled at $941.20, down 0.14% for the day and was down 0.11% for the week.
Among base metals, copper prices ended a four-day losing streak after data on Friday pointed to stable growth in China’s manufacturing sector in November.
Copper for December delivery was up 0.98% at $3.094 in late trade.
In the week ahead, investors will be continuing to focus on U.S. political developments. Economic data will also be in the spotlight, with market watchers looking ahead to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for November.
Interest rate reviews in Australia and Canada will also be closely watched.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, December 4
Australia is to report on company profits.
The UK is to publish data on construction sector activity.
The eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers are to hold meetings in Brussels.
The U.S. is to release data on factory orders.
Tuesday, December 5
Australia is to release data on retail sales and the current account.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.
China is to publish its Caixin services index.
The UK is to publish data on service sector activity.
Canada and the U.S. are to publish trade data.
Later Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management is to publish its manufacturing index.
Wednesday, December 6
Australia is to release figures on third quarter growth.
The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payrolls report for November.
The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement.
Thursday, December 7
Australia is to release data on the trade balance.
Canada is to report on building permits and publish the Ivey PMI.
The U.S. is to produce the weekly report on jobless claims.
ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak in Frankfurt.
Friday, December 8
Japan is to release revised data on third quarter growth.
Australia is to release data on home loans.
China is to publish trade data.
The UK is to report on manufacturing production and the trade balance.
The U.S. is to round up the week with the non-farm payrolls report for November and preliminary data on consumer sentiment.
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