Gold Price Up on Weaker Dollar; Spot gold hits $1,744.07 an ounce

Gold strengthened on Friday as the dollar eased slightly off two-decade highs, but bullion is expected to post its biggest weekly decline in more than a month as the high greenback hit demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold strengthened 0.3% to $1,744.07 an ounce at 0106 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,742.50.

* The dollar fell slightly from 20-year highs, taking some weight off gold in the price of the greenback.

* Gold prices have lost about 3.7% this week. This will likely be their fourth straight weekly drop, and the worst since mid-May.

* U.S. stocks rose along with Treasury yields overnight as investors bet on the economic light at the end of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike tunnel, while oil prices rose on concerns supply.

* Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields fell on Friday, supporting gold.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week and there are growing signs that demand for labor is cooling, with layoffs hitting a 16-month high in June, as aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve fuels recession fears .

* Two of the Fed’s most vocal hawks said on Thursday they would support another 75 basis point hike in interest rates later this month, but a slower pace thereafter, even if both have minimized the risk of rising borrowing costs pushing the US into recession.

* Rising US short-term interest rates and bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which earns no interest.

* Spot silver rose 0.5% to $19.28 an ounce and platinum gained 0.6% to $878.40, but both were forecast for weekly losses.

* Palladium climbed 0.8% to $2,006.51 and gained around 2.3% for the week.

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