Gold heads for best week in 4 months on subdued dollar, yields

Silver rises 3%, palladium gains about 5% for the week

  
A 500 gram gold bar is seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 15, 2017.

A 500 gram gold bar is seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 15, 2017.

REUTERS/Mariya Gordeyeva

Gold prices hit a seven-week high on Friday and were on track for their best week since mid-December, bolstered by a softer dollar and a sharp pull back in U.S. Treasury yields in the previous session.

Spot gold was 0.8% higher at $1,778.04 per ounce by 1:53 p.m. EDT (1753 GMT), having earlier hit its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,783.55. It is up 2% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures settled 0.8% higher at $1,780.20.

“The macro argument for gold has also improved. We are poised for a run towards $1,800," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"We've had many investors abandon some positions because of some extreme technical selling we saw with Treasury yields and that has really provided a strong backdrop here for gold prices to continue to appreciate."

Benchmark U.S. bond yields hovered near a one-month low hit in the previous session, while the dollar was headed for second week of declines.             

Gold's advance came despite robust U.S. retail sales data and a significant drop in weekly jobless claims.                        

The drop in 10-year yields below the key 1.60% mark "has allowed spot gold to break above its 50-day simple moving average (SMA) for the first time since early February," FXTM Market Analyst Han Tan said in a note.

On the physical front, the world's biggest gold consumer China has given domestic and international banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, five sources familiar with the matter said, in a potential fillip to gold prices.             

Silver rose 0.6% to $26.01 per ounce and was up 3% for the week, heading for its biggest weekly gain since January.

Palladium climbed 1.2% to $2,773.92 and gained more than 5% for the week. 

Platinum was 0.8% higher at $1,202.32.

(Reporting by Shreyansi Singh, Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy, Kirsten Donovan)

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