September 26, 2019 / 6:33 PM / 21 days ago

Gold down 1% and set for worst week in six months as dollar climbs

(Reuters) - Gold slipped by 1% to a one-week low on Friday and was heading for its worst week in six-months as investors sought safety in the U.S. dollar, lifting the currency to multi-week highs.

FILE PHOTO: An employee stores marked ingots of 99.99 percent pure gold on a cart at a plant owned by Krastsvetmet, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of non-ferrous metals, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

A stronger dollar makes gold costlier for holders of other currencies.

Spot gold was down 0.7% at $1,495.02 an ounce by 1256 GMT after touching its lowest since Sept. 19 at $1,490.20. The metal has retreated by nearly 1.5% over the week.

U.S. gold futures dipped 0.8% to $1,502.70 an ounce.

“The main reason gold is down is because the U.S. dollar is strengthening to its highest level against the euro in more than two years,” said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.

“However, we have seen massive exchange-traded fund inflows into gold in the past few days. This shows people are buying on dips and we may see further buying with prices now below $1,500 because the outlook for gold is still bullish.”

The dollar index against a basket of rivals climbed to a three-week peak as heightened risks from political tensions in the United States strengthened its safe-haven appeal.

A whistleblower report released on Thursday said that U.S. President Donald Trump abused his position in attempting to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election and that the White House tried to “lock down” evidence of his conduct.

On the trade front, meanwhile, China’s top diplomat said the country is willing to buy more U.S. products and that trade talks with the United States would yield results.

This came after Trump praised Chinese purchases and said that a trade deal could come sooner than people thought.

These positive signals on trade lifted European shares, offseting worries over economic growth and rising political risks.

“Barring a major shock ... world recession fears that have central banks running around in circles to ease monetary policy provide more than enough reason to expect gold prices to resume their stunning rally of 2019,” FXTM analysts said in a note.

Bullion has risen more than 17% this year, mainly driven by trade tensions and increasingly dovish monetary policy from central banks.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 1.4% to $17.55 an ounce.

Platinum eased 0.4% to $926.07 and was on track for its worst week in nearly two months.

Palladium lost 0.3% to $1,663.12 an ounce but the auto-catalyst metal was still set for an eighth consecutive weekly gain.

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman and Louise Heavens

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