Gold prices fell back below the key $1,800-an-ounce mark on Friday, heading for a weekly loss, their first in five weeks.

December gold  
GC00,
-0.21%

GCZ21,
-0.21%

fell $2.30, or 0.1%, to $1,797.70 an ounce after touching an intraday high of $1,806. Prices for the most-active contract were set for a loss of around 2% for the week. The precious metal finished 0.4% higher at $1,800 an ounce on Thursday, following declines in each of the two previous sessions.

Thursday’s seesaw session came after weekly U.S. benefit jobless claims fell to the lowest since the pandemic began and the European Central Bank said it would slow asset purchases.

“The price appears to be profiting from the fall in bond yields in the U.S. yesterday following a successful bond auction that met with brisk demand,” said Daniel Briesemann, analyst at Commerzbank, in a note to clients.

Looking ahead, Sept. 22 “looms especially large for gold,” analysts at Citi Research wrote in a Thursday note, referring to the date of the next Federal Reserve announcement on monetary policy.

“Following a neutral Jackson Hole outcome and, more critically, a weak U.S. payrolls report for August amid delta variant spread, we push out expectations of a Fed taper announcement from September to November,” they said. “But a reduction in asset purchases still seems likely come December.”

The September FOMC is “not an easy call, and the initial market reaction to a ‘no taper announcement’ this month (our base case) could even play out as dovish on a headline read, unless it is balanced out with the dot plot and/or forward guidance,” the analysts at Citi said.

In Friday dealings, gold prices extended their losses shortly after data showed the U.S. producer price index climbed 0.7% in August, down from a 1% jump in July.

Against that backdrop, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.02%

slipped modestly to 92.44 in Friday dealings, on track for a weekly rise of 0.4%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
1.328%

rose to 1.326%, trading little changed for the week. Bullion tends to be sensitive to moves in the U.S. dollar and government debt yields, which can undercut appetite for precious metals.

In other metals trading Friday, December copper 
HGZ21,
+3.41%

rose 3.9% to $4.45 a pound, trading roughly 2.7% higher for the week.

October platinum 
PLV21,
-0.78%

 fell 0.3% to $971.40 an ounce, looking at a weekly decline of 4.9%, while December palladium 
PAZ21,
+0.64%

 added 1.5% to $2,175 an ounce, on track for 10% loss on the week.

Both platinum and palladium have “gotten hammered this week as we have to suspect that difficulties in the global auto sector must be weighing” on platinum group metals demand,” said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets, in a Thursday note.

Also see: Why spot uranium prices have climbed to a 6-year high

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