Bullion for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.7 percent to $1,196.93 an ounce and was at $1,198.94 at 4:35 p.m. in Singapore, reducing this week’s gain to 1.4 percent, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal rallied to $1,219.79 on March 26, the highest level since March 2, as it capped seven days of gains, the longest run of advances since 2012. Gold in Shanghai posted the first weekly advance in seven.
Investors have historically turned to precious metals in times of geopolitical tension. Gold was set for the first quarterly gain since June as the Saudis headed a coalition of 10 Sunni-ruled nations that carried out raids around Yemen’s capital. Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor is near the center of world energy trade, and oil is poised to post the biggest weekly gain since 2011 amid concern supplies may be disrupted. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose the most in a week on Thursday.
Data on Thursday showed jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since mid-February. Fed Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said the economy can handle moving to a higher-rate environment. Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak on monetary policy in San Francisco on Friday.
Gold for June delivery declined 0.6 percent to $1,198.10 on the Comex and is set to gain 1.1 percent this week. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the metal are heading for a fourth weekly contraction, the longest streak since December.
Bullion of 99.99 percent purity fell 0.2 percent to end at 240.50 yuan a gram on the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Prices climbed for the first week since Feb. 6. Volume for the benchmark spot contract totaled 43,865 kilograms on Friday, near the record 45,717 kilograms on Thursday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg dating back to 2002.
China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong totaled 65.8 metric tons last month, down from 71.6 tons in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department released Thursday.
Silver for immediate delivery declined 0.6 percent to $17.011 an ounce, trimming a second weekly advance. Platinum was 0.7 percent lower at $1,145 an ounce, set to gain for a second week. Palladium fell 0.5 percent to $767 an ounce to head for a third weekly loss, the longest run of declines since October.