Gold ticked higher on Friday, recovering modestly from overnight losses, but uncertainty over whether the Federal Reserve would hike U.S. rates this year weighed on the market.
Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,140.10 an ounce by 0040 GMT, after dropping 0.6 percent in the previous session following the release of minutes from the Fed’s Sept. 16-17 meeting. The metal is up 0.2 percent for the week.
The Fed thought the economy was close to warranting an interest rate hike in September but policymakers wanted firmer evidence a global economic slowdown was not knocking America off course.
Most policymakers, according to the minutes, thought the Fed’s first rate hike in a decade should still come this year and that financial market turmoil had not “materially altered” the outlook for the U.S. economy.
The minutes pointed to a deeply cautious Fed even before subsequent economic data showed a sharp slowdown in hiring by U.S. employers.
Gold had climbed to its highest in nearly two weeks earlier this week after a string of U.S. economic data pointed to sluggishness that might prevent the Fed from hiking rates soon.
A delayed rate rise could support non-interest-paying gold in the near term.
San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams on Thursday repeated his view that an interest rate hike will be appropriate “sometime later this year,” citing near-full employment and his expectation inflation will rise.
Among other precious metals, silver was headed for a 3 percent weekly jump, after hitting a 3-1/2-month high on Wednesday on a softer dollar and expectations of a delay in the Fed rate hike.
Platinum was on track for 4.6 percent gain for the week, its best weekly performance since October 2013.
The gain follows a drop in prices to a near-seven-year low last week, as investors believed the Volkswagen emissions scandal would reduce demand for diesel cars, in which the metal is used in catalysts. Palladium was headed for its fifth straight weekly gain.