Metals Stocks: Gold pauses its advance as stocks steady, but holds near 6-month highs

Gold futures tipped lower early Friday as volatile stock markets calmed down, but the haven metal remained near the six-month highs scored in recent days on the way to a roughly 1.8% weekly gain.

“Investors are weighing the plenitude of risks heading into the new year,” said Stephen Innes, heading of trading for the APAC region, at Oanda. “Indeed, there’s an extensive laundry list of concerns: Trump berating the Fed; trade wars; China’s slowing growth; Brexit casualties; and an EU slowdown. But when you factor in a possible downswing the U.S. economy in 2019, this is when things get ugly and why gold remains so alluring.”

Read: Here’s what 2019 may have in store for commodities such as gold and natural gas

Gold for February delivery GCG9, -0.02%  on Comex slipped 20 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $1,280.90 an ounce. Losses Friday risked snapping a streak of three straight gains, marking the highest finishes for a most-active contract since June, at just north of $1,281, according to FactSet data.

Despite futures weakness, the SPDR Gold Shares ETF GLD, +0.76%  was up 0.2% early Friday. The popular gold ETF rose more than 2% Wednesday, its best one-day percentage gain since July 2016, according to FactSet data, before drifting in the sessions since. The ETF has gained roughly 8% since touching more than 2½-year lows in October.

Stock futures pointed to cautious early gains to cap a wild, thinly traded holiday week for equities. But gold’s declines were limited as a leading U.S. dollar index DXY, -0.27%  eased 0.3% to 96.22. Weakness in U.S. dollars can make gold, which is primarily traded in greenback, more attractive to investors using other monetary units.

In other metals trade, March silver SIH9, +0.69%  traded up 6 cents, or 0.4%, at $15.375 an ounce. March copper HGH9, +1.59%  rose 3 cents, or 1%, to $2.694 a pound.

April platinum PLF9, -0.24%  slipped 0.1% at $800.30 an ounce, while March palladium PAH9, +0.28%  gained 0.3%, to $1,198.10 an ounce.

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