Dovish Fed, weaker dollar lifts gold to one-week high

Yellen Federal Reserve

Chinese stocks slipped 0.6 per cent as investors sought more evidence of a sustainable economic recovery, but indexes were set for a 1 per cent increase for the week.

The dollar was hovering at five-week lows against other major currencies on Friday, as the dovish tone of the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement continued to weigh and as investors eyed the release of US data due later in the day.

A weaker dollar typically strengthens the investment appeal of precious metals, which are priced in the US currency.

Prospects for higher rates have generally been dollar-positive and gold-negative as a richer buck makes gold less attractive to investors using another currency. Canadian manufacturing sales rose for the third straight month in January as nondurable goods sales increased, led by the petroleum and coal industry, data from Statistics Canada showed.

USD/JPY held steady at 113.25, while USD/CHF edged down 0.14% to 0.9950.

MSCI's all-country world stock index gained 0.7 per cent, and hit an all-time high. The Canadian dollar was trading at C$1.3343 to the greenback, or 75.14 USA cents, stronger than Thursday's close of C$1.3347, or 74.92 US cents.

Commodities The oil market is striving to break a six day losing streak that saw Brent crude prices slump 9.1 per cent amid concerns that Saudi Arabia was not adhering to an Opec production cut deal and that increasing output by USA drillers was adding to a glut.

Elon Musk has another ambitious energy project and this time it's free
In the meanwhile, Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes tweeted out to Musk questioning the integrity of the 100-day claim. Tesla and its partner Panasonic began mass producing lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory two months ago.

Against the yen, the dollar fell to a two-week low and last traded down 0.5 percent at 112.74 yen JPY=.

Since August, it tried around two dozen times to take a wall a resistance between $0.7707 and $0.7778.On the data front, USA factory output increased for a sixth straight month in February while consumer sentiment rebounded in early March, underscoring the economy's resilience even as growth appears to have slowed significantly in the first quarter. The data, showing slowing inflation, could discourage a more hawkish hiking cycle, analysts said.

UK's benchmark FTSE 100 closed down by 0.1 percent, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 provisionally closes up by 0.07 percent, Germany's Dax ended down by 0.1 percent, France's CAC finished the day up by 0.1 percent.

US Treasury yields, which slid after the decision, staged a recovery on Thursday and continued to rise on Friday.

Prices on benchmark 10-year Treasuries fell 8/32 to yield 2.531 percent, up from 2.504 percent late on Wednesday. The Nasdaq was flat, while the Dow and the S&P 500 posted losses.

Meanwhile, Brent crude lost 0.43% to $51.59 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate was 0.47% lower at $48.63.

The metal built on those gains Thursday with April futures contracts on the Comex market in NY touching a high of $1,234.00 at the open, up 2.8% from yesterday's settlement level.

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