Investing.com – Gold futures ended slightly higher on Friday, as investors returned to the market to seek cheap valuations after prices hit a one-month low earlier in the session.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery tacked on $2.10, or 0.18%, to settle at $1,186.20 a troy ounce by close of trade. Prices hit $1,167.30 earlier in the day, the weakest level since December 1.
Despite Friday’s modest gains, gold declined $8.70, or 0.76%, on the week, the third consecutive weekly loss.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,141.70, the low from December 1, and resistance at $1,210.90, the high from December 30.
Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery rose 16.9 cents, or 1.08%, on Friday to settle the week at $15.76 a troy ounce by close of trade.
On the week, the March silver futures contract lost 32.0 cents, or 2.35%.
The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, advanced 0.91% to nine-year peaks of 91.47. The index rallied 12% in 2014, boosted by the diverging policy outlook between the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Japan.
The euro fell to four-and-a-half year lows against the dollar on Friday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated that the likelihood of quantitative easing has increased.
Meanwhile, oil prices continued to tumble on Friday, to hit the lowest level since 2009, as investors piled on to their short positions in anticipation of lower prices in the new year amid concerns over a growing supply glut.
London-traded Brent prices declined 91 cents, or 1.59%, to close at $56.42 a barrel, while Nymex oil futures dropped 58 cents, or 1.09%, to end at $52.69, a level not seen since May 2009.
In the week ahead, investors will be turning their attention to Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for further indications on the strength of the recovery in the labor market. Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes will be also closely watched.
Gold lost 1.67% in 2014 amid indications a strengthening U.S. economic recovery will force the Fed to start raising interest rates sooner and faster than previously thought.
Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery shed 0.8 cents, or 0.28%, on Friday to settle at $2.817 a pound, as a broadly stronger U.S. dollar and weaker oil prices weighed.
Despite Friday’s small decline, Comex copper inched up 0.3 cents, or 0.11%, on the week.
The red metal lost nearly 18% in 2014 as concerns over the global economic outlook and the impact on future copper demand prospects dampened the appeal of the commodity.
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