Forexpros - Gold futures rose sharply on Friday, trimming a weekly loss, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank remained prepared to implement fresh measures to stimulate the faltering U.S. economy.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery settled at USD1,827.65 a troy ounce by close of trade on Friday, slumping 1.72% over the week, the first weekly loss since late June.
Gold futures surged 3.2% on Friday after Fed Chief Bernanke said, "The Fed has a range of tools that could be used to provide additional monetary stimulus", but stopped short of outlining when and if this may happen.
In a highly-anticipated speech at the central bank's annual retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Bernanke said, "The Committee will continue to assess the economic outlook in light of incoming information and is prepared to employ its tools as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery."
Bernanke announced that the central bank's September policy-setting meeting would run for two days instead of one, in order to "allow a fuller discussion" of the economic outlook.
Global financial service provider Deutsche Bank noted in a report late Friday that while the Fed was "not prepared to act at this point, it kept a bias to ease in place."
Adding to worries about the outlook for U.S. growth, a government report showed the U.S. economy grew 1% in the second quarter, disappointing expectations for an expansion of 1.1% and slower than an initial estimate of 1.3%.
Gold prices rallied to an all-time high of USD1,917.90 a troy ounce on Tuesday, before dropping sharply after the CME Group raised margins on gold contracts for the second time in less than a month on Wednesday.
The CME Group, operator of the Comex increased the so-called initial margin by 27% to USD9,450 per 100-ounce contract from USD7,425, pushing small investors out of the gold market as it raises the cost to trade a futures contract.
Also last week, the Bombay Bullion Association, an industry group said on Tuesday that gold imports by India could reach a record high of 1000 metric tons this year, as investors seek a haven against inflation and volatility in stock markets. India is the world's largest gold consumer.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery traded at USD41.36 a troy ounce by close of trade on Friday, tumbling 4.85% on the week, while copper for September delivery traded at USD4.101 a pound, jumping 3.3% on the week.