(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) Gold prices decreased on Friday and were set for their roughest week in nearly five months, as lack of clarity from the U.S. Federal Reserve on the outlook for interest rate cuts triggered investors to cash in some gains ahead of Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,495.80 U.S. per ounce, early Friday. The metal has lost nearly 1.2% so far this week, on track for its biggest weekly percentage decline since March 29.
U.S. gold futures also slipped 0.2% to $1,505.50 an ounce.
The market is closely watching Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole seminar due later in the morning (10 a.m. ET) for some firmness on monetary policy after minutes of the U.S. central bank's July meeting tempered hopes of aggressive rate cuts.
Underscoring divisions within the Fed, two central bank officials said on Thursday the U.S. economy does not need more stimulus at this point while another said he was 'open-minded.'
Among other precious metals, silver was flat at $17.01 U.S. per ounce; while platinum rose 0.2% to $858.76, keeping it on course for a weekly gain.
Palladium also rose 0.2% to $1,489.52 U.S. per ounce, putting the autocatalyst on track for a third consecutive weekly rise, gaining 2.9% so far this week.