By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com-- Gold prices moved little on Friday as investors awaited key U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for more cues on the world's largest economy, but were headed for a second straight week of gains as pressure from the dollar eased.
Bullion prices benefited as the dollar retreated further from a 20-year high this week, while U.S. Treasury yields also fell as markets bet that weakening economic growth will push the Fed into eventually softening its hawkish stance.
But a slew of hawkish signals from Fed officials stemmed the dollar’s losses this week. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has also warned that the bank will risk economic ructions as it hikes rates aggressively to quell inflation.
Focus is now squarely on U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, due later on Friday. While the reading, which reflects the health of the labor market, is expected to have decreased from the prior month, any signs of strength are likely to give the Fed more space to keep hiking rates.
Spot gold was largely unchanged at $1,712.03 an ounce, while gold futures were also steady around $1,720.25 an ounce by 19:59 ET (23:59 GMT). Both instruments were set to gain around 3% this week.
Bullion prices were battered by rising interest rates this year, which increased the opportunity cost of holding the yellow metal. Gold prices sank to an over two-year low in September, and are now trading about $100 above those levels.
But gold could benefit from increased safe haven demand in the remainder of the year, particularly if conditions in major economies worsen. Festival season demand for the yellow metal is also expected to increase this month.
Among industrial metals, copper prices fell 0.3% to $3.4272 a pound on Friday, and were set for mild weekly gains.
The outlook for the red metal is under pressure from weakening economic activity across the globe, with major producer Chile also slashing its price forecast recently.
Still, markets are positioning for a potential supply crunch, with new sanctions against Russian firms potentially limiting inventory.