Gold prices dipped on Friday as investors digested U.S. economic data that was expected to give more clues about a possible interest rate hike in December.
Spot gold was flat at $1,286.69 U.S. per ounce early morning Friday while U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,289.40 U.S. per ounce.
Spot gold was on track to register a 2.5% decline in September, its largest monthly fall so far in 2017 and the biggest since November 2016, after the dollar strengthened on the back of better-than-expected U.S. economic data.
However, gold was set to end the quarter around 3.7% higher as it rallied in July and August, partly due to geopolitical tensions including North Korea’s missile tests.
The U.S. personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose $18 billion in August, the fourth straight month of 0.1% monthly growth. The PCE increased 1.3% from the year before.
Federal Reserve funds futures now imply around a 73% chance of a rate hike at the Dec. 12-13 policy meeting, sharply higher than just a few weeks ago.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the greenback.
Meanwhile, palladium gained 0.2% to $930.50 U.S. per ounce. It was up 11% for the quarter and 38% so far in 2017.
Silver slipped 0.5% higher to $16.75 U.S. per ounce and was on track for a 4% loss on the month, but was set to end the quarter 1.7% higher.