Investing.com - Gold prices dropped on Friday, giving back a small portion of August’s gains, as sovereign debt yields pulled away from historic lows and signs of economic stimulus boosted risk sentiment.
Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, fell $8.45, or 0.6%, to $1,522.75 a troy ounce by 7:03 AM ET (11:03 GMT).
The moves by policymakers helped calm nerves over the economic outlook that had boosted demand for safe-haven gold.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury also moved back above that of the 2-year note, reversing the inversion that some economists say flags a pending recession.
Yields on sovereign debt in general, such as the U.S. 30-year Treasury bond or 10-year paper from the likes of Germany or France, were also moving away from historic lows, placing some slight pressure on non-yielding bullion.
Despite Friday’s drop, Barani Krishnan, senior commodity analyst at Investing.com, noted that “gold is enjoying its best year since hitting record highs eight years ago”. The precious metal was up nearly 6% in August with gains of 16% year-to-date.
Central banks responding to heightened trade tensions, a slew of disappointing global economic data and, most recently, the U.S. yield curve inversion are among the bullish factors supporting gold prices, Krishnan said. He also pointed to buying by central banks and speculative support from hedge funds and exchange-traded gold funds.
Traders will likely still keep an eye on U.S. economic data due later in the session for short-term trading opportunities in the precious metal.
The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading of consumer sentiment for August will provide insight into how the American consumer’s optimism has been hit by U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of further tariffs in the ongoing trade dispute with China.
Investors will also receive an update on the state of the U.S. housing market with the publication of housing starts and building permits for July. Consensus is pointing to a recovery from a dip in June as home builders bet that lower mortgage rates will support demand for housing.
In other metals trading, silver futures lost 0.5% to $17.137 a troy ounce by 7:04 AM ET (11:04 GMT).
Palladium futures inched up 0.1% to $1,440.30 an ounce, while sister metal platinum fell 0.7% to $836.45.
In base metals, copper was unchanged at $2.595 a pound.