Gold prices rose to two-week highs on Friday as weak U.S. inflation data added to doubts over whether the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates for a third time this year.

Gold futures for August delivery ended up 0.95% at $1,228.88 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising as high as $1,232.7 earlier, the most since July 3.

The precious metal ended the week with gains of 1.32%.

U.S. consumer price inflation slowed to 1.6% in June from 1.9% in May, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Consumer spending was also weaker than expected, with retail sales falling 0.2% in June, compared to expectations of a 0.1% rise.

The Fed hiked rates at its June meeting and stuck to its forecast for one more rate hike this year but the sluggish inflation outlook has raised questions over whether officials will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.

In testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the economy is on a strong enough footing for the Fed to raise rates, but she also reiterated that inflation is below target and noted that it is a particular “uncertainty” that could affect monetary policy.

Expectations that rates will stay low tend to boost gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing investments when borrowing costs rise.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures rose 1.71% to $15.96 a troy ounce and notched up a weekly gain of 2.38%.

Platinum rose 1.8% to $923.45 and ended the week up 1.5%. Palladium rose 0.28% to $857.17 an ounce and copper was up 0.1.22% to $2.694 a pound late Friday.

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

 

Monday, July 17

Financial markets in Japan will be closed for a holiday.

China is to release data on gross domestic product, industrial production and business investment.

The euro zone is to release revised data on consumer inflation.

Canada is to report on foreign securities purchases.

The U.S. is to release data on manufacturing activity in the New York region.

 

Tuesday, July 18

New Zealand is to release inflation data.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting.

The UK is to release its latest inflation figures.

The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

The U.S. is to report on import prices.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is to speak at an event in Hampshire.

 

Wednesday, July 19

Canada is to release data on manufacturing sales.

The U.S. is to produce reports on building permits and housing starts.

 

Thursday, July 20

Australia is to release its latest employment report as well as private sector data on business confidence.

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

The UK is to report on retail sales.

The ECB is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and President Mario Drahi is to hold a press conference.

The U.S. is to publish data on initial jobless claims and manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

 

Friday, July 21

The UK is to report on public sector net borrowing.

Canada is to round up the week with data on inflation and retail sales.

 

Source: Investing.com