Gold futures rise, on track for highest settlement in over 2 weeks

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Gold futures were headed higher Friday morning, aiming for a third straight gain and a weekly rise, amid a retreat in benchmark Treasury yields, which compete against precious metals for safe-haven demand, and a steadying U.S. dollar, which has slipped back since touching a three-month high a day ago.

The dollar was holding little-changed, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.05%, while the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.442% was yielding 1.44%.

August gold GCQ21, +0.47%   GC00, +0.47% was trading $10, or 0.6%, higher, at $1,786.70, which would mark the most-active contracts highest settlement since June 16, if prices hold, FactSet data show. On Thursday, gold rose 0.3% to mark its second straight advance.

Commodity investors may be watching for the monthly report on the U.S. labor market, with economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimating that 706,000 jobs were created in June, following a gain of 559,000 the prior month. The employment update could help to influence the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy plans and spark moves in bullion.

Silver contracts for September delivery SIU21, +0.65% SI00, +0.65%, meanwhile, were up 20 cents, or 0.8%, to trade around $26.30 an ounce, after a 0.4% decline on Thursday.

Some analysts speculate that bullion has found some support on the back of growing concerns about the delta variant of COVID-19, which has been hamstringing the economic recovery in a number of countries.

“The precious metal may have found support in the renewed virus woes that have hurt sentiment in Asia, though subdued long-term Treasury yields may also be propping up gold prices,” wrote Raffi Boyadjian, senior investment analyst at XM, in a research note.

For the week, silver was headed for a weekly gain of 0.9%, its second weekly rise in a row, while gold was headed for a weekly 0.5% weekly gain, also its second straight.