Investing.com - Gold prices fell on Friday to settle at their lowest level in two weeks as the dollar remained supported by expectations for a rate hike at the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting this week.
Gold futures for April delivery settled down 0.27% at $1,314.20 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest close since March 1. For the week, prices were down 0.88%.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.17 in late trade. The index ended the week up 0.17%.
A stronger dollar makes dollar denominated gold more expensive for overseas buyers.
The Fed is widely expected to raise rates by a quarter point at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, with investors focusing on any indications as to the pace of monetary policy tightening for the remainder of the year.
Expectations for higher interest rates are typically negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver settled down 0.5% at $16.34 a troy ounce, bringing the week’s losses to 2.08%.
Platinum settled at $950.9, down 0.47% for the day to end the week 1.65% lower.
Among base metals, copper for May delivery was down 0.45% at $3.112 in late trade for a weekly loss of 0.74%.
Prices have fallen nearly 6% so far this year amid concerns that protectionist trade policies and the prospect of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals, could hit demand.
In the week ahead, the G20 meeting in Argentina and the threat of trade wars will be in focus ahead of the Fed announcement on Wednesday.
Heightened geopolitical tensions as well as uncertainty over what recent White House personnel changes could mean for policy could be supportive for gold because some investors favor the precious metal in times of market instability.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, March 19
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s twenty largest economies are due to meet in Buenos Aires.
Tuesday, March 20
The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting. Australia is also to publish data on house price inflation.
The UK is to publish data on inflation.
The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.
The G20 summit in Buenos Aires is to continue for a second day.
Wednesday, March 21
Financial markets in Japan will be closed for a holiday.
The UK is to publish its latest employment report.
The U.S. is to report on existing home sales.
The Federal Reserve is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the decision.
Thursday, March 22
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is to announce its latest monetary policy decision.
Australia is to publish its latest employment report.
The euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity.
The UK is to release data on retail sales. Later in the day, the Bank of England is to announce its rate decision.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on jobless claims.
Friday, March 23
Canada is to publish data on retail sales and inflation.
The U.S. is to round up the week with reports on durable goods orders and new home sales.
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