Gold prices soften, but remain on track for weekly gain

Gold prices softened again on Friday, but remained on track for a weekly gain driven by expectations for a down shift in the pace of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes.

Price action
  • Gold for December delivery GCZ22, -1.21% was off $13, or 0.8%, at $1,653 per ounce on Comex.
  • Silver for December delivery SIZ22, -1.71% shed 27 cents, or 1.4%, to $19.23 per ounce.
  • December palladium PAZ22, -2.56% lost $16.20, or 0.8%, to $1,922 per ounce, while January platinum PLF23, -1.93% lost $10, or 1%, to $957 per ounce.
  • Copper for December delivery HGZ22, -2.33% fell 5 cents, or 1.5%, to $3.47 per pound.
What’s happening

Hopes that the Federal Reserve will follow through with smaller interest-rate hikes after its November policy meeting have helped bolster the price of gold and silver, but traders are still unsure whether “peak hawkishness” has truly passed.

Now, the ball is in the Fed’s court, and the fate of precious metals prices will largely depend on the central bank.

“…[T]he point in time when we actually reach peak hawkishness should present a good buying opportunity for gold as real rates should recede with an easier monetary policy stance,” analysts at Sevens Report Research said.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.33%, a gauge of the buck’s strength against a basket of rivals, was up modestly, rising 0.1% at 110.75, while yields across the Treasury curve were higher.

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