Gold set for first gain in five sessions – MarketWatch

Gold futures were set to log their first gain in five sessions on Friday, but still headed toward their worst weekly loss in about a month.

Gold for December delivery

GCZ5, +0.92%

 gained $9.60, or 0.9%, to $1,132.10 an ounce in on Comex, eyeing a 2.5% loss, which would be its worst weekly decline since July 24, when the precious metal slid 4.1% for the week.

Read: Gold tallies loss of more than 3% in 4 sessions

Thursday’s stronger-than-expected gross-domestic-product report suggests the U.S. economy may be on better footing than the market has feared. Analysts speculate that despite global-market turmoil fueled by China—the world’s second-largest importer of commodities—the Federal Reserve may still find cause to lift interest rates sooner than later.

Higher rates would be a boon for the U.S. dollar but may dim the appeal of dollar-denominated gold for buyers purchasing the asset in other currencies.

Improving U.S. economic data, such as second-quarter U.S. GDP growth raised to 3.7%, is providing support for the greenback, said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

But some Fed officials haven’t sounded very supportive of a rate increase. Read: Where every Fed member stands on raising interest rates.

“While odds, in our view, of Fed lift-off in September are lower, we are not reducing our expectation for a lift-off in 2015,” Haworth said.

Economic data next week will be what really matter, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. If they show and “cement that the labor market is solid and wage growth has augmented, we could see a selloff for the precious metal.”

On Friday, data on personal-consumption expenditures, a measure of inflation, showed it at its lowest level since March 2011. UBS says the report “will be important amid concerns about subdued inflation.” Gold held on to its gains after the PCE data.

Another event investors are watching is the Jackson Hole summit, where Fed officials are expected to drop clues about the U.S. central bank’s likelihood of hiking rates just weeks ahead of the key two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee starting Sept. 16.

Gold lost some of its luster in afternoon trade after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in an interview on CNBC at the Jackson Hole summit Friday left the stock market worried that the central bank would raise interest rates soon.

In other metals, September silver

SIU5, +0.61%

 gained 4 cents, or 0.3%, to $14.460 an ounce, on track for a weekly loss of 5.3%. September copper

HGU5, +0.13%

 traded at $2.348 a pound, up 1.4 cents, or 0.6%—up about 1.9% for the week.

October platinum

PLV5, +1.30%

 rose $12.30, or 1.2%, to $1,018.30 an ounce, set for a weekly decline of 0.9%, while September palladium added $11.80, or 2.1%, to $580.40 an ounce, trading down 3.8% on the week.