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Gold prices end higher, notch best weekly gain since late June

Gold futures settled virtually unchanged Friday but marked the best weekly return in more than a month, amid Italian political jitters and another wrinkle in the U.S.-China trade talks.
December gold GCZ19, -0.13%  on Comex shed $1, or less than 0.1%, at $1,508.50 an ounce. For the week, gold has climbed 3.5% based on the most-active contract’s finish on Aug. 2. The weekly advance would mark the best such stretch for futures since the period ended June 21, according to FactSet data.
Despite the lackluster finish for the session, the better weekly return has gold bulls sanguine about the metal’s outlook.
“Risk aversion spikes again on reports U.S. won’t ease Huawei restrictions,” said Raffi Boyadjian, analyst with the brokerage XM, speaking of the Chinese technology firm that has featured in trade talks.
Meanwhile, September silver SIU19, +0.05% gave up half a penny, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $16.931 an ounce. For the week, the white metal rose 4.1%, its best week since the period ended July 19.
Metals have mostly benefited from weakness in equity markets due to the U.S. - China trade war as investors eschew assets perceived as risky in favor of those considered havens like gold and sovereign debt where yields have tumbled to historic lows. The slide in government debt to ultra-low and negative rates has helped to buttress bullion and silver, which don’t bear a coupon but tend to rally in times of uncertainty.
Italy Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini called for a snap election on Friday, with the political instability in the EU’s third largest economy send European stocks and bond yields lower.
The U.S. 10-year Treasury yielded just around 1.70% early Friday, while comparable German bonds TMBMKDE-10Y, -3.15%, a proxy for the health of eurozone economy, were at negative 0.579%, hovering near a record low. Key U.S. yields this week hit the lowest level since October of 2016.
President Donald Trump also ignited a brief period of selling in stock markets after he implied that a September meeting between China and U.S. officials on trade may not take place.
Elsewhere on Comex, October platinum PLV19, -0.37%  lost $3.70, or 0.4%, to $863.80 an ounce, booking a weekly gain of 1.3%. September palladiumPAU19, +0.34% rose $5.80, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,419.30 an ounce, also logging a weekly return of 1.1%.
Meanwhile, September copper HGU19, -0.48%  shed 1.85 cents, or 0.7%, to end at $2.5890 a pound, with a weekly gain of 0.7%.

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