Gold was set on Friday for its worst week in five months, as bullion prices were hammered by increasing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve would accelerate the pace of stimulus tapering and raise interest rates sooner to curb rising inflation.
* Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,792.62 per ounce by 0051 GMT. U.S. gold futures advanced 0.5% to $1,793.90.
* The metal has declined more than 2.8% this week, heading for its worst week since June 18.
* The dollar index was steady but not far off a 16- month peak hit earlier this week. A stronger dollar makes bullion costlier for buyers holding other currencies.
* The Fed will likely double the pace of tapering its monthly bond purchases from January to $30 billion, and wind down its pandemic-era bond buying scheme by mid-March, Goldman Sachs strategists said in a daily note on Thursday.
* Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of gold, which pays no interest.
* The European Central Bank is coming under pressure from bankers to lend more of its stash of German government bonds to avert a market squeeze that would undo some of its own stimulus efforts.
* A surge in coronavirus infections in Germany and high inflation are weighing on the consumer morale in Europe’s largest economy, dampening the business prospects for the upcoming Christmas shopping season, a survey showed.
* China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped to the highest since June 2018 in October, as buyers in the top consumer stocked up on the metal as a cushion against rising inflation.* Spot silver fell 0.1% to $23.55 per ounce. Platinum dropped 0.6% to $989.77, while palladium rose 0.4% to $1,866.34.