Gold set for fifth week of gains as dollar slumps versus euro

Gold rose to a four-month high on Friday and was on track for a fifth straight weekly gain as the dollar fell against the euro on an agreement for a political coalition in Germany.

Spot gold was up 0.66 percent at $1,331.01 an ounce by 12:34 p.m. ET, having touched its highest since Sept. 15 at $1,333.05. The precious metal is up half a percent this week and set for its longest run of weekly gains since April. U.S. gold futures for February delivery were up 0.7 percent at $1,331.70.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, fell to its lowest since Sept. 8 at 91.243. The euro jumped to a three-year high after party sources said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) had agreed a blueprint for formal coalition negotiations.

“This agreement of a coalition will change that situation of a hung parliament in Germany and that is why the euro is positive, weakening the U.S. dollar, which is one of the reasons why gold is firmer this morning,” said Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig.

The news from Germany helped the euro to extend gains made on Thursday after minutes from a December European Central Bank meeting signaled that the ECB could begin to wind down its 2.5 trillion euro ($3 trillion) stimulus program this year.

A stronger euro could boost demand for gold by making dollar-priced bullion cheaper for European investors. Physical gold demand remained lackluster across top Asian centers this week as buyers were put off by a rally in prices, but the approaching Chinese New Year could boost stimulate buying interest.

The dollar was pressured by data showing producer prices in the United States fell for the first time in nearly 1-1/2 years in December amid declining costs for services. U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) data is due later on Friday.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.7 percent to $17.13 an ounce but was still heading for its first weekly loss in five weeks.

Platinum rose 1.28 percent to $996.70 after touching its highest since Sept. 11 at $997, on track for a fifth straight weekly gain. Platinum is up 2.5 percent so far this week.

Palladium was up 2.22 percent at $1,107.50, close to a record high of $1,111.40 touched on Tuesday. Source: Reuters

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