Firm dollar pushes gold to fourth straight monthly loss

·2-min read
An employee processes ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in Krasnoyarsk

By Arundhati Sarkar

(Reuters) - Gold prices were flat on Friday and poised for a fourth consecutive monthly drop, as an elevated U.S. dollar and aggressive monetary policies from top central banks continued to erode demand for bullion.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was flat at $1,755.59 per ounce, as of 0045 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1% to $1,752.70 per ounce.

* The U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter, raising risks of an economic slowdown, which lifted gold's safe-haven allure and helped bullion prices gain more than 1% on Thursday. [nL1N2Z83DU] [nL1N2Z914Y]

* Gold is on track for its best week since mid-May, with prices up 1.6% so far. However, bullion is unlikely to stave off a fourth straight monthly decline, its worst run of losses since November 2020.

* Despite some day-to-day volatility, the dollar <=USD> has spent most of July hovering around 20-year highs, hammering demand for greenback-priced gold among other currency holders. [USD/]

* The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for the second straight meeting as it attempts to fight soaring inflation. [nL1N2Z82TZ]

* Higher rates and bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold. [US/]

* Spot silver firmed 0.2% to $20.01 per ounce, and platinum gained 0.2% to $889.81, but both face monthly losses.

* Palladium rose 0.4% to $2,086.02, and is set for its best month since January, having gained 7.7% so far.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0530 France GDP Preliminary QQ Q2

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY July

0755 Germany Unemployment Chng, Rate SA July

0800 Germany GDP Flash QQ SA, YY NSA Q2

0900 EU HICP Flash YY July

0900 EU HICP-X F&E Flash YY July

0900 EU GDP Flash Prelim YY, QQ Q2

1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM June

1400 US U Mich Sentiment Final July

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar, Arpan Varghese and Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Carmel Crimmins, Shailesh Kuber and Barbara Lewis)

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