Gold prices edged higher on Friday as investors remained cautious ahead of the first round of voting in the presidential French election, underpinning safe haven demand for the precious metal.

Gold for June delivery settled up 0.13% at $1,285.5 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, gold futures were down 0.81%.

Polls indicated that centrist Emmanuel Macron was clinging to a narrow lead ahead of the first round of voting in France’s presidential election on Sunday, in a four-way race that is too close to call.

Investors are fearful over the prospect of a second round run-off between far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon and Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party, who both want to put the country’s European Union membership to a vote.

Investors were also watching events in Washington. On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration will unveil a tax reform plan soon and expects it will be approved by Congress this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 99.66 late Friday, holding above the three-week trough of 99.36 set on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was down 0.65% at $17.90 a troy ounce late Friday.

Platinum was down 0.67% at $974.65 a troy ounce, while copper dipped 0.08% to $2.54 a pound.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

 

Monday, April 24

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is to speak.

 

Tuesday, April 25

Financial markets in Australia and New Zealand are to remain closed for the ANZAC Day holiday.

The UK is to report on public sector borrowing.

The U.S. is to release data on consumer sentiment and new home sales.

 

Wednesday, April 26

Australia is to produce data on consumer price inflation.

Canada is to publish figures on retail sales.

 

Thursday, April 27

The Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.

In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary inflation data.

The ECB is to announce its latest monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.

The U.S. is to release data on initial jobless claims, durable goods orders and pending home sales.

 

Friday, April 28

Japan is to publish data on household spending and inflation.

New Zealand is to report on business confidence.

The UK is to release a preliminary estimate for first quarter economic growth.

Germany is to release figures on retail sales.

The euro zone is to publish a preliminary inflation estimate.

Canada is to release data on monthly economic growth.

The U.S. is to round up the week with what will be closely watched preliminary figures on first quarter growth, as well as a report on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region and revised data on consumer sentiment.

 

Source: UK Investing.com

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