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Gold logs best week in 7 as Delta variant risks loom

Gold rose on Friday, heading for its best week in seven, bolstered by a weaker dollar and concerns that the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus could slow a global economic recovery.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,810.99 per ounce by 2:44 p.m. (1844 GMT), and was up 1.4% for the week. US gold futures settled 0.6% higher at $1,810.6.

“We do continue to have issues with the Delta variant. That may very well slow economic progress, not only in the United States, but of course around the world,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

“As investors get convinced that the U.S Federal Reserve indeed is targeting full employment and that it’s not particularly worried about inflation moving above targets for a period, we could see gold’s move over $1,850 by year-end.”

Gold, a hedge against economic and political uncertainties and also rising inflation, attracted buyers as vaccination shortfalls and highly contagious coronavirus variants prompted fresh restrictions, especially in Southeast Asia.

A softer dollar also added to bullion’s lustre by making it cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

But capping gains, benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields rose from a more than four-month low, translating into higher opportunity cost for holding non-yielding bullion.

In the physical markets, gold demand in India and China slowed this week, dampened by higher domestic rates.

Meanwhile, a British regulator said banks clearing gold trades in top hub London could apply for an exemption from tighter capital rules due in January, removing what some said was a threat to the functioning of the market.

Silver rose 0.9% to $26.15 per ounce but was down for the week after rising over the previous fortnight.

gained 2.5% at $1,102.53 and palladium rose 0.2% to $2,811.90, with both metals headed for a weekly gain.

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