Gold firms suffers worst losing streak since they started

Gold firms are on their ninth straight sessions of losses. To date this is one of the worst losing streak in over 40 years of operation.

Spot gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,156.20 an ounce by 1033 GMT. Gold’s losing run up to Thursday was the worst since August 1973, when prices fell 10 days in a row.

U.S. gold for April delivery rose $3.40 an ounce to $1,155.30.

The metal was, however, headed for its sixth weekly loss in the past seven, down 0.8 percent so far and having hit its lowest in more than three months at $1,147.10 on Wednesday.

On Friday, gold was benefiting from an unchanged dollar against a basket of leading currencies after the greenback posted its biggest one-day fall in a month on Thursday.

Gold has taken a beating since a stronger than expected U.S. jobs report last week stoked speculation the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates soon. The next focus will be the Fed’s policy-setting committee meets on March 17 and 18.

“The softer dollar is helping gold but that’s only temporary,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. “The key event now is going to be the Fed meeting next Wednesday, so more clarity on the interest rates hike timing.”

The dollar, which hit its highest in nearly 12 years this week, is widely expected to reach parity with the euro, due to the gap between U.S. and European market interest rates.

A stronger dollar would continue to cloud the outlook for gold, making it more expensive for holders of other currencies, while higher interest rates usually dent demand for assets that do not pay interest such as bullion.

Gold could see some more gains but will face resistance at $1,166, said Phillip Futures analyst Howie Lee.

In a reflection of bearish sentiment, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.28 percent on Thursday to 750.95 tonnes, the lowest since January. It has been three weeks since the fund had any inflows.

Other precious metals have also taken hits. Silver was on track for a second straight weekly fall, down 0.3 percent at $15.52 an ounce on Friday, while palladium was heading for its worst week since mid-January even though the price was up 0.3 percent at $790.50 an ounce on Friday.

Platinum was up 0.9 percent at $1,121.50 an ounce, having fallen to its lowest since 2009 at $1,108.50 on Thursday.


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