Gold futures moved higher on Friday and recorded their fourth successive weekly gain, as falling equities prompted investors to seek the safe haven asset.
With worries about trade war and its likely impact on global economic growth rising by the day, and geopolitical concerns, falling corporate earnings and Italian budgetary woes further denting sentiment, stock markets across the globe have been witnessing some big slides in recent sessions.
The U.S. dollar is gaining in strength as a safe haven investment after the Federal Reserve hinted at another rate hike this year and three more increases in the coming year. Although the greenback’s rise has pushed the yellow metal down a bit, the latter is still managing to push itself higher and has come a long way up since it fell to an 18-month low of $1,161.40 in mid August this year.
Today, the dollar index rose to a 2-month high after data showed U.S. GDP to have grown at an annualized rate of 3.5% and inflation to have softened a bit in the third quarter. However, it retreated subsequently and slipped into negative territory.
Gold futures for December ended up $3,40, or 0.3%, at $1,235.80 an ounce. On Thursday, gold futures ended up $1.30, or 1%, at $1,132.40 an ounce. For the week, gold futures gained about 0.6%.
Silver futures for December ended up $0.070, at $14.700 an ounce.
Copper futures for December settled at $2.7410 per pound, down $0.0135 from previous close.
European markets ended notably lower today amid worries about growth. According to survey of professional forecasters, published by the European Central Bank, the euro area economy is projected to grow at a slightly slower pace this year and next, according to survey of professional forecasters, published by the European Central Bank.
Real GDP growth expectations revised down for 2018 to 2% from 2.2% and that for next year to 1.8% from 1.9%. Meanwhile, the estimate for 2020 was retained at 1.6%.
U.S. stocks declined sharply, weighed down by some disappointing earnings reports, and despite coming off their lows, were still down with pronounced losses. The Dow, Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were down between 1.7% and 2.1%.
A report from the Commerce Department showed stronger than expected economic growth in the third quarter, although the data may have added to recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates.
The Commerce Department said real gross domestic product advanced by 3.5% in the third quarter after surging up by 4.2% in the second quarter. Economists had expected GDP growth to slow to 3.3%.
The slowdown in the pace of growth in the third quarter came after the jump in the second quarter represented the fastest growth since a 4.9% spike in the third quarter of 2014.
On the inflation front, the Commerce Department said its reading on core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, showed price growth slowed to 1.6% in the third quarter from 2.1% in the second quarter.