Investing.com – Gold inched higher on Friday, with prices tallying their first weekly gain in a month amid expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain a slower pace of interest rate hikes next year.
for February delivery tacked on 80 cents, or around 0.1%, to settle at $1,257.90 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
For the week, the precious metal gained about 0.7%, snapping a three-week losing streak.
The Fed raised interest rates for a third time this year on Wednesday, as widely expected, and indicated that it would , disappointing some who had speculated the U.S. central bank could raise its interest rate projection for next year to four rate hikes.
The central bank also said it expected inflation to remain below its target for another year, tempering expectations for an accelerated pace of rate hikes.
Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.
Meanwhile, growing investor optimism surrounding limited gains, following reports that Republicans secured enough votes for the bill passage. The House was expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Some investors expect that the tax overhaul may boost U.S. growth, leading to more interest rate hikes and a higher dollar.
The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was at 93.96 late Friday, off an earlier low of 93.28.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, rallied 17.1 cents, or 1.1%, to $16.10 a troy ounce late Friday, ending the week up roughly 1.5%.
gained 1.4% to $893.90 an ounce to notch a weekly increase of around 0.7%, while fell 1.2% to close at $1,016.88 an ounce. It still rose 1.9% for the week.
Among base metals, ended Friday up 2.2% at a three-week high of $3.139 a pound. The industrial metal scored a weekly gain of 5.3%, boosted by expectations of strong demand in top consumer China.
, the final reading of third-quarter U.S. growth will be the main focus for global financial markets, as investors begin to wind down trading activity before the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Meanwhile, U.S. tax reform legislation will remain on the agenda, as lawmakers work to push through a bill to overhaul the tax code ahead of a self-imposed Dec. 22 deadline.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, December 18
The euro zone is to release revised inflation data.
Tuesday, December 19
The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.
The U.S. is to release data on building permits, housing starts and the current account.
Wednesday, December 20
German Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is to speak at an event in Milan.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is due to speak about the November Financial Stability Report at a Treasury Select Committee Hearing, in London.
Later on, the U.S. is to publish a report on existing home sales.
Thursday, December 21
The Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.
The U.S. is to release final figures on third quarter economic growth, as well as weekly jobless claims and a survey on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia area.
Friday, December 22
The U.S. is to round up the week with data on personal income and spending, which includes the personal consumption expenditures inflation data, the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation, will also be on the agenda.
Reports on durable goods orders, new home sales and revised Michigan consumer sentiment figures will also be on the agenda.