Gold falls more than 1% on firm dollar but on course for weekly gain

11:32' PM - Saturday, 23/01/2021

Gold prices fell more than 1% on Friday as a broader market sell-off weighed on the metal along with a firm dollar, while hopes for further stimulus from the U.S. put bullion on track for its first weekly gain in three.

Spot gold fell 0.8% to $1,855.23 per ounce by 1:42 p.m. EST (1842 GMT), retreating from a two-week high hit on Thursday. The metal was up 1.5% so far this week. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.5% to $1,856.20.

"Regardless of the asset class everything from equities to agricultural to softs are selling off and a lot of emphasis is on whether the stimulus could be passed and whether the (COVID-19) vaccine rollout could be effective," said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

The strength in the dollar was also weighing on bullion with benchmark U.S. Treasury yields firm above 1%, Streible said. U.S. President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, though some Republicans have expressed concerns over the amount.

Global equities benchmarks slipped from record highs and grains futures fell, while the dollar edged higher against key rivals. Elsewhere, platinum fell 2.5%, to $1,098.70 an ounce, having hit its highest since August 2016 on Thursday.

It was set to post its second consecutive weekly gain, up 2.3%. "As a result, the price differential to gold narrowed for a time to $720 per troy ounce. The last time it was any lower was in February last year," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch in a note.

"There was no specific trigger for the price surge. The price may have been pushed up by technical buying after it exceeded its previous high at $1,130." Silver fell 1.8% to $25.47 an ounce, but was up 2.9% so far this week. Palladium eased 0.3% to $2,356.29. - Reuters -

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