Gold Prices Log Best Week in Three

Repeated Dovish Fed Comments Boost Gold PriceRepeated Dovish Fed Comments Boost Gold Price

Gold prices extended gains for a third day in five after Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen repeated that any rate hikes by the Fed will be gradual.

A gloomy outlook for quarterly corporate results has spurred risk-averse investors to pour money into safe-haven assets like bullion.

The gold price June delivery rose 0.5% to settle at $1,243.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has added 1.7% this week, its best weekly gain in three weeks.

In remarks late Thursday, Yellen said the Fed would “watch very carefully what is happening in the economy.”

“We think a gradual path of rate increases will be appropriate” given the progress the economy has made and is likely to continue to make, Yellen said.

She was speaking as part of a panel discussion involving all the living chairs of the Federal Reserve past and present–Ben Bernanke, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan.

Any rate hikes by the Fed this year are viewed as bearish for the yellow metal which grapples with high yield bearing assets in increasing rate environments.

Grim Corporate Profit Outlook

Analysts are expecting profits of S&P 500 companies to be down 7.4% from a year ago, Reuters reported. First-quarter reports are not expected to be good. A drop would log the third quarterly profit slump in a row, Reuters reported.

Shares of SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) was little changed at $118.61 at 1:57 p.m. in New York.

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX), the world’s largest producer of the metal, added 5.2% to $15.27, stretched its year-to-date rally to 107%.

Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) increased 4% to $17.01, also expanding this year’s advance to 47%.

In other precious metals, the silver price increased 1.5% to $15.39 a troy ounce, platinum gained 1.4% to $968.51 and palladium rose 0.8% to $537.85.

Investors’ concern over global economic growth helped gold prices to rally 17% since the beginning of the year, making bullion the best performing investment in 2016.