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Gold on Track for Sixth Straight Weekly Loss

December 16, 2016 at 16:07 by Andrew Moran

Despite trying to make some mild gains before the trading week comes to an end, gold is on track for its sixth straight weekly loss. The yellow metal has lost about 12% since the November 8 election, and shed more than 3% the day after the Federal Reserve announced its first increase to interest rates in a year.

February gold futures rose $3.20, or 0.28%, to $1,133.00 per ounce at 15:43 GMT on Friday. Gold is poised to shed more than 2% this week, which marks its sixth consecutive weekly loss. This past trading week, gold prices have tumbled to their lowest levels since early February and suffered their biggest one-day drop since mid-2013. Gold has also shed about 17% of its value since hitting a peak of $1,367.

Silver is also attempting to carry some momentum heading into next week’s trading session. February silver futures climbed just $0.09, or 0.61%, to $16.05 an ounce. Silver is poised for a weekly loss of nearly 5% as it plummeted 7.1% on Thursday.

With the US central bank raising rates and the potential for the greenback to soar to new highs in 2017, investor appetite for precious metals remains weak.

The Fed announced on Wednesday that it would increase the target range from a range of 0.25% to 0.5% to a range of 0.5% to 0.75%. Also, Fed Chair Janet Yellen raised the discount rate from 1% to 1.25%.

In its announcement, the Fed noted that it plans to raise rates three times next year, two to three times in 2018, and another three times in 2019. This is prompting some gold investors to proceed with caution. Gold is sensitive to a rising-rate environment as it lifts the opportunity cost. A strengthening dollar also impacts gold because it makes precious metals more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

However, as President-Elect Donald Trump plans to move ahead with his aggressive stimulus spending package and across-the-board tax cuts and refrain from slashing the budget, it could create an environment of inflation and fiscal pressures. This could prove to be a boon for the yellow metal.

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