Firm dollar pushes gold to fourth straight monthly loss

Gold prices were flat on Friday and poised for a fourth consecutive monthly drop, as an elevated U.S. dollar and aggressive monetary policies from top central banks continued to erode demand for bullion.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was flat at $1,755.59 per ounce, as of 0045 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1% to $1,752.70 per ounce.

* The U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the second quarter, raising risks of an economic slowdown, which lifted gold’s safe-haven allure and helped bullion prices gain more than 1% on Thursday. [nL1N2Z83DU] [nL1N2Z914Y]

* Gold is on track for its best week since mid-May, with prices up 1.6% so far. However, bullion is unlikely to stave off a fourth straight monthly decline, its worst run of losses since November 2020.

* Despite some day-to-day volatility, the dollar has spent most of July hovering around 20-year highs, hammering demand for greenback-priced gold among other currency holders. [USD/]

* The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for the second straight meeting as it attempts to fight soaring inflation. [nL1N2Z82TZ]

* Higher rates and bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold. [US/]

* Spot silver firmed 0.2% to $20.01 per ounce, and platinum gained 0.2% to $889.81, but both face monthly losses.

* Palladium rose 0.4% to $2,086.02, and is set for its best month since January, having gained 7.7% so far.

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