Gold gains as growth concerns dent risk appetite
* Gold up about 1 percent so far this week
* Platinum up over 2 pct so far this week
* March euro zone business growth worse than expected -PMI
By Sethuraman N R
March 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday as weak
economic data from the euro zone exacerbated fears of a global
slowdown, weighing on risk sentiment and putting bullion on
track for its best week in nearly two months.
Spot gold climbed about 0.3 percent at $1,313.07 per
ounce by 1:48 p.m. EDT (1748 GMT), while U.S. gold futures
settled 0.4 percent higher at $1,312.3.
The metal was up nearly 1 percent for the week, on track to
mark its biggest weekly percentage gain since beginning of
"There is some safe demand that has surfaced," said Jim
Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.
"The U.S. Federal Reserve suggested U.S. economic growth was
slowing, which has spilled over into notions that the rest of
the world economy might be experiencing slower growth. That was
highlighted by the PMI data out of the European Union, auguring
for some trepidation in the world's stock markets."
Businesses across the euro zone performed much worse than
expected this month as factory activity contracted at the
fastest pace in nearly six years, hurt by a big drop in demand,
a survey showed.
European stocks suffered after the weak data, while U.S.
stocks opened lower.
"Price action in gold continues to lend strength to our view
that expected data deterioration will help spark a gold rally as
interest rates continue to fall in the context of a slowing
global economy," analysts at TD Securities wrote in a note.
Earlier this week, the Fed brought its three-year drive to
tighten monetary policy to an abrupt end, abandoning projections
for any interest rate hikes this year.
Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding gold and weigh on the dollar.
Gold prices rose to their highest since Feb. 28 on Thursday
at $1,320.22. Despite paring some of those gains, they were
still on track for a third straight weekly gain, up about 1
percent so far.
"Gold could not break above $1,320 on the upside and saw a
correction. The current trading range seems to be between
$1,305-$1,320," said Afshin Nabavi, senior vice president at MKS
"With the geopolitical and the (uncertain) Brexit situation,
we may still be heading higher."
Among other precious metals, spot palladium fell 3
percent to $1,560.51 per ounce, after touching an all-time high
of $1,620.53 in the previous session.
Silver slipped 0.4 percent at $15.41 per ounce, but
was up about 0.8 percent for the week.
Platinum fell 1.4 percent to $846. Platinum has risen
more than 2 percent so far this week.
(Additional reporting by Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng in
Bengaluru; editing by Chris Reese and Diane Craft)
First Published: 2019-03-22 03:37:23
Updated 2019-03-22 20:14:41
© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.