Gold prices clawed back on Friday after skidding to their lowest level in more than a week a day earlier. Even with the slide, the metal claimed a slim November gain as the dollar wobbled.
November’s economic data did little to sway markets from expectations for a gold-negative interest-rate hike later this month and more tightening next year, although the scope of those 2018 moves continues to be debated, which has lessened the negative pressure on the metal. Progress on tax changes in the U.S. remains a key market focus as well, with delay in passage knocking stocks from records in Friday trading and supporting haven gold’s mild gains.
The tax vote was pushed to Friday because a number of issues still remain to be resolved.
Early Friday, February gold rose $2.80, or 0.2%, to $1,279.50 an ounce. The contract logged its lowest settlement since Nov. 20, at $1,276.70 to close out November, according to FactSet data. The exchange-traded SPDR Gold Trust edged up 0.1% in premarket trading.
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The February contract ended less than 0.2% higher for last month with futures prices, based on the most-active December contract’s close on Oct. 31, up roughly 0.5% for the month.
Gold traded in its tightest range in percentage terms in November since 1999, Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy with Saxo Bank, tweeted. Hansen said the tight range persisted as the yellow metal was tugged by two factors: rising rates and geopolitical risks.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was down less than 0.1% at 93.01. The ICE index fell nearly 1.6% for November, its worst performance since a 2.9% slide in July, according to FactSet data.
Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding bullion.
The Friday economic line-up that could help determine interest-rate policy includes the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index for November, out at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, followed by the ISM manufacturing reading at 10 a.m. Construction spending for October is also due at 10 a.m., while monthly car sales for the same month trickle out through the day.
Elsewhere on Comex, March silver lagged gold’s advance. The contract traded down 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $16.415 an ounce. Prices lost about 1.4% for the month, based on the most-active contracts, according to FactSet data. The exchange-traded iShares Silver Trust fell 0.2% early Friday.
March copper rose about 0.5% to $3.0785 a pound, with most-active contract prices down about 0.9% for last month. January platinum fell 0.1% to $941.80 an ounce—after climbing about 2.6% for November. March palladium eased 0.03% to $1,003.25 an ounce. It logged a monthly rise of about 2.7%.