Investing.com - Gold futures ended Friday’s session at a three-month high, as weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data forced investors to recalibrate their assumptions about the future course of the Federal Reserve''s monetary policy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery rose to a session high of USD1,321.50 a troy ounce on Friday, the most since November 7, before trimming gains to settle at USD1,318.60 by close of trade, up 1.43% on the day and 4.22% higher for the week.
Comex gold prices ended Thursday’s up 0.39% to settle at USD1,300.10 a troy ounce.
Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,283.90 a troy ounce, the low from February 12 and resistance at USD1,325.70, the high from November 7.
Meanwhile, silver for March delivery soared 5.03% on Friday to close the week at USD21.42 a troy ounce, the strongest since November 8. On Thursday, silver prices settled 0.27% higher at USD20.39 an ounce.
The March silver futures contract rallied 6.95% on the week, the second consecutive weekly gain.
Data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% from a month earlier in January, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain.
This weak data came one day after the Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 0.4% in January, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase.
The disappointing data fuelled concerns that the economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.
Gold received additional support after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reassured that U.S. monetary policy will remain accommodative.
In her first Congressional testimony since her appointment as Fed Chair, Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank would continue to gradually reduce the pace of its asset purchase program.
She also reiterated that the Fed plans to hold interest rates at zero “well past” the time the jobless rate falls below 6.5%.
In the week ahead, market players will continue to pay close attention to U.S. economic data releases for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
The Comex will be closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday in the U.S.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish bets in gold futures in the week ending February 11.
Net longs totaled 67,291 contracts, compared to net longs of 59,408 in the preceding week.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper for March delivery hit a daily high of USD3.270 a pound on Friday, the most since January 28, before trimming gains to end at USD3.264 a pound, up 0.45%.
Comex copper prices added 0.85% on the week, the second consecutive weekly advance.
Official data released Friday showed that consumer price inflation in China rose 1% last month, exceeding expectations for a 0.7% gain, after a 0.3% uptick in December.
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