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Gold Posts Modest Weekly Gain amid US Political Concerns

May 12, 2017 at 17:13 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are on track for a modest weekly gain as investors remained worried about the political situation unfolding in the US. With the White House in turmoil over the firing of FBI director James Comey, traders are seeking out safe-haven assets, and precious metals are the main targets.

June gold futures rose $2.60, or 0.21%, to $1,226.80 per ounce at 16:55 GMT on Friday. After recording its worst weekly loss this year last week, the yellow metal is poised to end the week advancing 0.1%. Gold prices have been battered over the last two weeks, paring much of their 2017 gains.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also finishing the final trading session of the week in the green. July silver futures climbed $0.14, or 0.86%, to $16.40 an ounce. Silver is on track to report a 1% weekly gain. Silver has also been tumbling over the past two weeks, eliminating most of its year-to-date increases.

Precious metals are benefiting from the political upheaval occurring in Washington. Gold and silver demand has spiked because investors, spooked by the uncertainty surrounding US President Donald Trump and his young administration, are turning to safe-haven assets.

Despite their calls for the ousting of Comey since October, Democrats are furious that the president dismissed the FBI director this week. Trump referred to Comey as a “showboat” and noted that he lost all confidence in him.

The precious metal is not advancing any higher because of positive US economic data. New applications for US jobless benefits dipped last week, producer prices rebounded last month, and the core consumer-price index (CPI) jumped by a tepid 0.1% in April.

Gold prices are further being capped by rising expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at next month’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. A rising-rate environment is bad for commodities like gold and silver because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

The US dollar has been shedding its value to end the trading week. The greenback fell 0.34% against a basket of currencies, which is good for godd because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to buy.

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