Por Ashitha Shivaprasad
Dec 17 (Reuters) – Gold topped $ 1,800 on Friday and was heading for its first weekly gain in five as concerns over the omicron spread and inflation prompted investors to seek safe haven assets.
* Spot gold was up 0.3% to $ 1,804.78 an ounce as of 1601 GMT, bringing its rise so far this week to 1.2%. Gold futures in the United States were up 0.5% at $ 1,807.30.
* Stocks were down across the board, following a shift by global central banks to control mounting price pressures and economic risk posed by rising COVID-19 cases.
* “Growth is going to slow in the next quarter, and US equities are correcting from their highs, so there appears to be a panic to move out of equities into safe assets like gold and silver,” Phillip said. Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
* The Federal Reserve on Wednesday anticipated three interest rate hikes for the end of 2022, a move that would normally have weighed on gold as higher rates increase the opportunity cost of non-yielding bullion.
* However, the metal rose because the prospects for rate hikes had been discounted before the central bank’s announcement, according to analysts.
* Inflation also cushioned pressure from the Federal Reserve’s aggressive stance, ANZ analysts said in a note.
* Gold gains occurred despite inflows to the dollar, also considered a safe store of value during geopolitical uncertainties.
* Palladium advanced 3.1% to $ 1,783.47, while silver gained 0.2% to $ 22.51. Platinum rose 0.5% to $ 941.04
(Report by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)