Gold at Year-Long High as Interest Rate Fears Fade

Gold prices rose to their highest in more than a year on Friday as weak economic data reduced expectations of another interest rate increase in the United States this year, U.S. bond yields fell and the American dollar plunged to its weakest points in more than two and a half years.

Demand for U.S. government debt and other safe-haven assets rose after an increase in U.S. jobless claims and worries about the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey on economic growth.

A weaker greenback usually powers demand for gold by making it cheaper for holders of other currencies, while lower bond yields reduce the opportunity cost of owning non-yielding bullion.

Spot gold was up 0.04% at $1,349.29 U.S.. Earlier in the session, it marked its strongest since August last year. It was up over 2% for the week, on track for a third weekly gain.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.3% to $1,354 U.S.

In other precious metals, silver was up 0.1% at $18.09 U.S. an ounce after touching $18.21, its best since April. It was on par for a 2.8% weekly gain.

Platinum was up down 0.02% at $1,015.30 U.S., having touched $1,022.70, its highest since March.

Palladium declined 1.3% to $942.25 U.S. but was heading for a first weekly decline in seven weeks.

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