Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Gold Heading for Worst Weekly Run of the Year

  • Bullion trims weekly losses spurred by outlook for rates
  • Saber-rattling brings worriers back into gold: RBC’s Gero

Investor angst over Kim Jong Un is helping gold get its groove back.

Bullion rose, trimming a weekly loss, after Russia’s state news service quoted Russian legislator Anton Morozov as saying North Korean officials are planning a new test soon of a missile capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast. Geopolitical tensions are reviving haven demand for the precious metal after earlier economic data bolstered the case for higher interest rates, hurting non-interest bearing gold.

Friday’s gains are still not enough to reverse the metal’s fourth weekly loss that marks the longest such streak this year. While political uncertainty persists, traders are still pricing a 79 percent chance that the Federal Reserve will boost borrowing costs by December, up from 29 percent a month earlier, according to fed funds futures data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Saber-rattling helps gold and brings the worriers back,” George Gero, a managing director at RBC Wealth Management, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a long-term uncertainty about what, if anything, can happen with North Korea going forward.”

Gold for immediate delivery gained 0.4 percent to $1,273.05 an ounce at 2:25 p.m. in New York, after sliding to the lowest since Aug. 9. Prices slid earlier Friday when the Labor Department report showed wage gains in the U.S. accelerating. Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1,274.90 at 1:47 p.m. on the Comex in New York.

Russia’s Mozorov told RIA Novosti that North Korean officials gave mathematical calculations that, in their view, showed that they would be able to hit the West Coast of the U.S. with their missile.

North Korea is “preparing for nuclear war,” Alexei Didenko, another member of the delegation, told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview. “They’ve been ready for it for a long time.”

In other precious metals:

  • Spot silver advanced 0.9 percent to $16.7486 an ounce, rebounding from the lowest in almost two months
  • Platinum fell to the lowest since July, as palladium slipped
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