Gold soars | Gold near its highest in more than a year

Gold prices held near its highest in more than a year during Friday’s trade as weak economic data lowered expectations of interest rate hike in December in the US.

The dollar plunged to its weakest since early 2015 and US bond yields held near 10-month lows, with the Federal Reserve expected to be more cautious after a rise in US jobless claims and worries about the impact of hurricanes Irma and Harvey on economic growth.

A weaker dollar fuels demand gold by making it cheaper for holders of other currencies and lower bond yields reduce the opportunity cost of owning non-yielding bullion. Interest rate rises meanwhile push up bond yields and boosts the dollar.

Spot gold was down 0.14% at USD 1,346.90 after earlier hitting USD 1,357.54, its highest since August 2016. It was up 1.7% this week. US gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.9% at USD 1,351.20.

In other precious metals, silver was down 0.29% at USD 18.02 an ounce after touching USD 18.21, its best since April. It was on course for a 2.1% weekly gain. While Palladium was 2.07% lower at USD 935.50 an ounce and heading for a first weekly decline in seven weeks.

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