Gold prices eased on Friday as the US dollar advanced on expectations of higher US interest rates and market players grew a bit less worried about global political and security risks.
Spot gold lost 0.6 per cent at $US1,336.96 per ounce, while US gold June futures settled down $US10.50, or 0.8 per cent, at $US1,338.30.
Investors were less jittery about geopolitical tensions that had supported gold prices earlier in the week, notably Syria and North Korea.
‘Of course, the geopolitical risks are still high compared to the beginning of the year but it seems like they are slightly lower than a few days ago so prices have come off the boiler a bit,’ Capital Economics commodities economist Simona Gambarini said.
Gold is often used as safe haven in times of uncertainty.
Also pressuring bullion, a US central banker said the Federal Reserve should keep raising interest rates this year and next to keep the economy from overheating and financial stability risks from rising.
Higher rates dent the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion while lifting the dollar, in which it is priced.
The US dollar index gained against a basket of major currencies.
Investors were also relieved that no new US demands on trade came out of a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump.
‘Gold is really in a $US1,300-$US1,360 trading range,’ said Bill O’Neill, partner at Logic Advisors. ‘Gold is just in a wait and see pattern now. It’s clearly not capable of really floating up.’
Meanwhile, spot silver lost 0.5 per cent at $US17.13 per ounce, but up more than three per cent for the week.