SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold futures rose Friday because investors wanted to hold the metal ahead of a three-day weekend in the U.S., but not enough to produce weekly gains.
Gold futures for June delivery (US:GCM2) advanced $11.40, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,568.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. .
On the week, gold is off 1.4%. It has retreated in three of the past four weeks.
U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. With continuing problems in the euro zone and concerns about global growth, gold got some safe-haven flows Friday.
Gold ended 0.6% higher Thursday, supported by a weaker dollar earlier in the session and by some short covering as investors rolled over to the August gold contract. See Thursday’s gold story.
The dollar started Friday nearly flat, giving back some of its recent gains, especially against the euro (US:EURUSD).
The dollar index (US:DXY) regained some strength, however, by midsession, keeping a lid on higher gains for gold. The index traded at 82.370, from 82.342 in North American trade late Thursday.
A weaker dollar is a positive for gold and other dollar-denominated commodities because it makes them less expensive for holders of other currencies. Read more on U.S. dollar.
Also providing a boost to gold, late Thursday the main U.S. commodity trading exchange, CME Group, said it had lowered its margin requirements for gold contracts by 10%. The new margins are effective Tuesday.
Gold clung to its advance after data showing a rise for consumer sentiment in the U.S. Read more about consumer-sentiment data.
Silver for July delivery (US:SIN2) added 23 cents, or 0.8%, to $28.39 an ounce. On the week, silver was off 1.1%.
July platinum (US:PLN2) rose $4.10, or 0.3%, to $1,426.50 an ounce. Platinum retreated 2.2% this week.
Palladium for June delivery (US:PAM2) advanced $2.50, or 0.4%, to $590 an ounce. Weekly losses for palladium reached 2.3%.
Copper for July delivery (US:HGN2) advanced 2 cents, or 0.6%, to $3.45 a pound. The base metal lost 0.6% this week.