By William Watts
DEPUTY MARKETS EDITOR – MarketWatch
Gold futures edged higher early Friday but remained on track for a small weekly loss in the face of a stronger U.S. dollar, though bulls remained encouraged by the haven yellow metal’s resilience.
Gold for April delivery GCJ9, +0.34% on Comex was up $2.20, or 0.2%, at $1,316.40 an ounce, leaving it down 0.4% for the week. Gold remains up 2.7% since the end of last year. March SIH9, +0.84% was up 6.7 cents, or 0.4%, to $15.78 an ounce.
Gold bulls said growing concerns about global growth should provide underlying support. The European Central Bank last month took a more dovish-than-expected stance amid continued weakness in European data, while the Federal Reserve last week surprised investors with a dovish pivot, putting future rate moves on hold until further notice. The Reserve Bank of Australia has also struck a dovish tone and the Bank of England on Thursday offered a downbeat outlook for growth amid Brexit uncertainty.
“The fact that we are seeing major central banks turn dovish at the same time is probably alarming for some investors, which may explain why stocks have failed to sustain their rally. But this is good news for bonds and therefore noninterest-bearing and low-yielding assets such as gold and silver,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com, in a note.
“What’s more, with the dollar index having just completed a six-day rally, you would think that these dollar-denominated metals would simultaneously be down for the same number of days. However, over the last six trading days, gold has only been down on three occasions, while silver has been down on 5 occasions, although higher today,” he said.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, -0.12% a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1% on Friday, leaving it on track for a 1.1% weekly rise. A stronger dollar can be a negative for commodities priced in the unit because it makes it more expensive to users of other currencies.
U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower start for Wall Street, putting equities on track for a three-day losing streak.
In other metals trade, April platinum PLJ9, +0.59% was up $2, or 0.3%, at $799.30 an ounce, while March palladium PAH9, +0.59% rose $17.90, or 1.3%, to $1,376 an ounce.
March copper HGH9, +0.02% was off 0.6 cent, or 0.2%, at $2.8225 a pound.