Gold slides in wake of dollar-supportive comments by President Trump

Gold prices continued to fall on Friday, after the dollar got a boost from comments by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Prices began to fall on Thursday after President Trump said he wanted to see a stronger dollar and expressed optimism that the battered U.S. currency would strengthen. On Friday, February gold fell $8.60, or 0.6%, to $1,354.30 an ounce. The precious metal is up around 1.6% for the week to date.

Gold’s losses came in contrast to Thursday’s regular session, when prices finished $6.60 higher at $1,362.90, the highest settlement for a most-active futures contract since Aug. 4, 2016. Gold was driven higher by the greenback, which has been tumbling in the wake of Wednesday’s comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who said a “weak dollar was good for trade.”

Gold, which is priced in dollars, often trades the opposite direction of the dollar, as moves in the U.S. unit can influence the attractiveness of the precious metal to holders of other currencies.

But it remained to be seen how much of a kick lower gold will get on Friday, as dollar weakness appeared to be getting a reboot. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, was last down 0.6% to 88.815, notably continuing its march lower against the euro. The European Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged as expected on Thursday, while President Mario Draghi failed to say anything to stem the rising single currency , which has gained about 4% against the dollar so far this year.

Investors will keep a close watch on comments from Trump, who is due to speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later. Is gold on the verge of breaking out?

Economic data on tap for Friday include fourth-quarter gross domestic product, durable goods orders for December. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch predict gross domestic product will show a 3% increase in the fourth quarter of 2017, following gains of 3.2% and 3%

In other metals action, March silver fell 17 cents, or 1%, to $17.44 an ounce. March copper was up 0.1% to $3.22 a pound.

April platinum slid $11.80, or 1.1%, to $1,020.30. The March palladium contract fell $5.50, or 0.5%, to $1,091.90 an ounce.

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