Traders responded to a slow news day with less enthusiasm for the precious metals.
Spot gold slipped 0.65% (-$9) on Friday morning, trading a shade below $1,337/oz.
The silver price also fell 0.6% to about $17.12/oz.
Platinum was off 0.75% to $927/oz while palladium moved 0.2% lower to $1,022/oz.
Inflation and Oil Prices in Focus on Friday
Bond yields moved higher heading into the weekend as markets focused on fresh inflation data.
Inflation expectations in the U.S. are at their highest in more than three years. Based on Treasury inflation-protected securities, better known as TIPS, the expected rate is up to 2.19%.
This pushed the 10-year U.S. bond yield up again to 2.93%.
The yield curve has continued to flatten, meaning shorter-dated Treasury yields are rising significantly faster than their 10- and 30-year counterparts.
Government bonds also slumped in Asia and Australia.
Meanwhile, gold ETFs have absorbed some safe-haven demand, with 12 straight trading days of inflows.
OPEC and the red-hot oil market received some attention on Friday, as well.
President Trump blamed the organization for helping keep crude oil prices artificially high even as the world is awash in rising supplies.
Crude prices dropped 0.6% on the comments. WTI futures were down to $67.90/bbl while the June Brent contract fell to about $73.30/bbl.
Elsewhere in the headlines, weekly jobless claims came in slightly worse than expected yesterday at 232,000.
Bank of England Tamps Down Rate Hike Talk
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney threw cold water on rate-hike expectations in an interview with the BBC yesterday.
Carney cited ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations as one factor that may prevent the BOE from acting.
Expectations for a rate hike from the central bank in May had been as high as 80%, but are now seen as essentially a toss-up.
The British pound sterling plunged back down to about $1.40 following Carney’s comments.
This propelled the USD to a two-week high above 90.2 on the DXY index.
The euro slumped 0.5% to fall below $1.23 and the yen was also down 0.3% to ¥107.7 per dollar.
U.S. stocks closed modestly lower on Thursday. They also opened lower Friday morning, led by a 0.6% decline in the Nasdaq.
Shares in Europe poked into the green in early trading with the exception of Germany’s DAX.
Equities in Asia were down again overnight, but Japanese indices have far outpaced their peers on the mainland over the last month.
Central bank heads and finance ministers from around the world will be attending a meeting hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
In other banking news, Wells Fargo could face another billion-dollar fine levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Regulators plan to settle claims that the megabank’s risk-management division improperly charged consumers.
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