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Gold / Silver / Copper futures - weekly outlook: December 26 - 30 - - Gold prices edged slightly higher in abbreviated trade ahead of the holiday weekend on Friday, but the precious metal still posted its seventh straight weekly decline as expectations for higher U.S. interest rates in the months ahead weighed.

Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on $2.90, or 0.26%, to end the week at $1,133.60 a troy ounce, not far from an 11-month low of $1,124.30 touched on December 15.

For the week, gold futures slumped $3.80, or 0.33%, the seventh straight week of declines, its longest weekly losing streak in more than 12 years.

Prices of the yellow metal have fallen sharply since Donald Trump was elected president as a soaring U.S. dollar, rising Treasury yields and a record-breaking rally on Wall Street have damped its appeal.

The greenback lost some steam on Friday, slipping from its 14-year-high against a basket of currencies as investors took profits ahead of the end of the year.

The dollar index dipped 0.1% to settle at 103.00 by close of trade Friday. The index climbed to 103.62 on Tuesday, the strongest level since December 2002.

Market analysts warned that the outlook for gold remains cloudy in the near-term, given expectations for higher U.S. interest rates in the months ahead.

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in a year earlier this month and projected three more increases in 2017.

The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for March delivery shed 11.2 cents, or 0.7%, on Friday to settle at $15.75 a troy ounce, within sight of an eight-month low of $15.67 logged on Tuesday. On the week, silver lost 29.6 cents, or 2.8%.

Meanwhile, platinum dropped 1.55%, to $893.20, marking a weekly decline of 3.7%, while palladium slumped 0.3% to $654.85 an ounce, notching a weekly loss of 6.1%.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for March delivery dipped 2.0 cents, or 0.82%, on Friday to end at $2.479 a pound, booking a weekly slide of around 3.5%.

In the week ahead, trading volumes are expected to remain light due to the Christmas holiday and as many traders already closed books before the end of the year, reducing liquidity in the market and increasing the volatility.

The U.S. is to release reports on consumer confidence, pending home sales and jobless claims, as traders look for further indications on the strength of the economy and hints on the future path of monetary policy.

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

Monday, December 26

Stock markets in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the U.K., Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. will remain closed, to make up for Christmas Day falling on a Sunday.

All floor trading for precious and base metals options will be shut for the Christmas holiday.

Tuesday, December 27

Markets in the U.K. and Canada will remain closed for Boxing Day.

The U.S. is to release private sector data on consumer confidence.

Wednesday, December 28

The U.S. is to release data on pending home sales.

Thursday, December 29

The U.S. is to produce data on weekly jobless claims, wholesale inventories and the trade deficit.

Friday, December 30

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on manufacturing activity in the Chicago-region. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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