Gold futures rose for the first time in four days on Friday, as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations in wake of recent losses which took prices to six-month lows.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery gained 0.85% on Friday to settle the week at USD1,203.70 a troy ounce. Gold prices fell to a session low of USD1,188.00 a troy ounce earlier in the day.
Futures were likely to find support at USD1,180.35 a troy ounce, the low from June 28 and resistance at USD1,226.00, the high from December 19.
Comex gold prices plunged to USD1,186,00 a troy ounce on Thursday, the lowest since June 28, before settling down 3.35% at USD1,193.60 a troy ounce.
On the week, the February Comex gold contract lost 2.5%.
Investors liquidated long positions after the Federal Reserve announced plans on Wednesday to begin tapering its monthly bond-buying program.
The Fed said that it would reduce its USD85 billion-a-month bond buying program by USD10 billion in January. In his last press conference as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy was continuing to make progress.
The move came after months of uncertainty surrounding the future of the Fed''s asset-purchase program. When market players started to anticipate the possibility of a reduction in stimulus early in the summer, it resulted in a sharp selloff in gold prices.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Commerce Department said that the U.S. economy expanded by 4.1% in the third quarter, well above initial estimates for 3.6% growth, adding to signs that the economic recovery is deepening.
Gold is down approximately 29% this year, on track for its largest annual loss in 32 years, as solid U.S. economic data underlined expectations the Fed will begin curbing stimulus.
In the week ahead, the U.S. is to release key reports on durable goods orders, new home sales and jobless claims.
Trading volumes are expected to remain light due to the Christmas holiday and as many traders already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for March delivery ended Friday’s session up 1.39% to close the week at USD19.45 a troy ounce. Comex silver prices sank 4.35% on Thursday to settle at USD19.18 a troy ounce.
March silver futures shed 0.76% on the week. The precious metal is down approximately 36% this year.
Meanwhile, copper for March delivery rose 0.38% on Friday to settle the week at USD3.308 a pound. Prices of the industrial metal declined 0.71% on Thursday to end at USD3.295 a pound.
On the week, Comex copper prices dipped 0.12%, the first weekly loss in five weeks.
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