Gold Settles Higher, Books Weekly, Quarterly Advance But Ends March In The Red

By Mark DeCambre Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Gold prices on Friday posted a modest gain as the dollar traded near break-even levels, offering the dollar-denominated commodity a path to climb. June gold ended up $3.20, or 0.3%, at $1,251.20 an ounce. For the week, the yellow metal, finished up 0.2%, but off 0.2% for the month. For the first three months of 2017, gold prices enjoyed a roughly 8.2% advance. A combination of expectations of rising inflation, which is supportive of gold futures--viewed as a hedge against rising consumer prices--and a tapering of a postelection rally in assets perceived as risky, sparked by President Donald Trump's market-friendly campaign pledges, helped to give the shiny metal a lift. On the day, the dollar's recent rebound, fueled in part by expectations of monetary-policy normalization by the Federal Reserve, pulled back, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index flat at 100.38. On the week, the dollar gauge, which tracks the buck's strength against a basket of six rival currencies, was up 0.6%. A stronger dollar can be a headwind for assets priced in the currency, making them more expensive to users of other monetary units.

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