Precious Metals

Gold firm but worst week since Dec. on cards amid rate hike jitters

Gold prices

Gold prices held firm on Friday after falling more than one per cent in the previous session, but gold was on track for its first drop in five weeks and weakest level since December on expectations of U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike in March.

Spot gold XAU= was mostly unchanged at $1,234 (£1,006.45) per ounce at 0048 GMT. The metal had its worst session since Dec. 15 on Thursday, when it fell over 1 per cent to touch over one-week low of $1,230.58 (£1,003.41).

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 rose 0.2 per cent to $1,234.90 (£1,006.45). The dollar index .DXY, in which the gold is priced, fell 0.1 per cent to 102.070.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a 44-year low last week, pointing to further tightening of the labour market even as economic growth appears to have remained moderate in the first quarter.

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The author Paul