Gold prices surged higher on Friday, as the dollar drifted down against most major currencies and suffered its biggest weekly loss in about five months.
Even as U.S. President Donald Trump kept criticizing the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, the central bank chief Jerome Powell, who spoke at the Kansas City Fed’s annual policy symposium in Jackson Hole said that the strength of the U.S. economic expansion justifies gradual interest rate hikes.
Powell said, “There is good reason to expect that this strong performance will continue,” and added “As the most recent FOMC statement indicates, if the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate.” Powell also said that he would do whatever is necessary to avoid another financial crisis.
Gold futures for December ended up $19.30, or 1.6%, at $1,213.30 an ounce. On Thursday, gold futures ended down $9.30, or 0.8%, at $1,194.00 an ounce, snapping a four-day winning streak.
Gold gained 2.5% in the week, its first weekly gain in about seven weeks.
Silver futures for September ended up $0.252 at $14.794 an ounce. Copper futures settled at $2.7005 per pound, gaining $0.0460 for the session.
The dollar index declined to 95.06, losing about 0.5%.
Data released by the Commerce Department showed that new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods slumped by a much more than expected 1.7% in the month of July, after climbing by 0.7% in June. Economists had expected durable goods orders to drop by 0.5%.