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Gold holds steady, on track for first weekly gain in three weeks

BENGALURU: Gold was little changed early on Friday after snapping three days of gains in the previous session, and was set for its first weekly rise in three weeks as the dollar and equities steadied.

Spot gold eased 0.1 per cent to $1,215.67 per ounce at 0107 GMT but was up 0.3 per cent for the week so far.

US gold futures for August delivery fell 0.2 per cent to $1,214.80 per ounce.

It would be “quite challenging” for the United States to reach the 3 per cent growth target set by President Donald Trump, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate panel on Thursday.

Global stocks scaled record highs on Friday, with Asian equities rising for a fifth straight session, as signs the Fed will pursue a gradual rate tighten path and hopes of a strong earnings season lifted appetite for risk assets.

The dollar was steady against a basket of major currencies on Thursday, as investors turned their attention to Friday’s economic data, a day after Yellen signaled the Fed’s rate hikes could be gradual.

US Treasury yields rose on Thursday after falling for three straight days, tracking gains in German bond yields with solid economic data supporting their trend higher.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June, likely keeping the Fed on course for a third interest rate increase this year.

The Bank of Japan is set to raise its economic growth forecasts but cut its rosy inflation outlook next week, sources say, reinforcing expectations it will lag well behind major global central banks in dialing back stimulus.

Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust , tworld’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund fell 0.43 per cent to 828.84 tonnes on Thursday from 832.39 tonnes on Wednesday.

Senate Republican leaders released on Thursday a revised plan to dismantle the Obamacare law, but it drew criticism from senators on both sides of the political divide within the Republican party, indicating a treacherous path for the bill.

Britain published legislation on Thursday to sever political, financial and legal ties with the European Union , an important step towards but one which the opposition said it would challenge.