Safe haven gold sprints towards best week

Gold prices rose on Friday, seeing their biggest weekly gain since mid-November as a global banking crisis sent investors flocking to the safe haven metal.

Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,931.12 per ounce by 1023 GMT. Bullion has risen about 3.5% this week, heading for a third consecutive weekly gain.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.7% to $1,935.80.

Gold this week benefited from safe haven trading and dollar-weakness, said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, adding the decision in Europe to raise rates weighed negatively on the dollar, contributing to gold’s strength.

A weaker dollar, enroute to a 0.5% fall for the week, makes bullion more attractive as it makes it cheaper for other currency holders.

The European Central Bank on Thursday hiked rates by 50 basis points (bps), keeping up the pace of its monetary tightening to contain inflation despite the banking turmoil.

Read more: Gold price increases Rs.700 per tola in Pakistan

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in the U.S. has highlighted banks’ vulnerabilities to sharply higher rates, while a rout in Credit Suisse shares added to market turmoil.

“We have to keep a very close eye on what the Fed does (next week)…a 25 bps rate hike is already priced in, but it will be interesting to see what guidance we get from (Fed Chair) Jerome Powell afterwards,” Evangelista said.

Gold is considered a hedge against economic uncertainties, yet its opportunity cost rises when interest rates are increased to tame inflation.

“This week’s upswing was boosted by pronounced ETF inflows,” analysts at Commerzbank said in a note, adding that the “last time weekly inflows were any bigger was nearly a year ago in response to the Ukraine war.”

Spot silver rose 0.4% to $21.80 per ounce, platinum was up 0.6% to $979.07, while palladium rose 0.3% to $1,434.35.

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