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Metals Stocks: Gold futures sink 1.5% as Putin mentions ‘certain positive shifts’ in Ukraine’-Russia conflict

Gold futures were headed sharply lower Friday morning as comments from President Vladimir Putin dulled haven demand for precious metals, still the metal was looking at a modest weekly gain.

“There are certain positive shifts, negotiators on our side tell me,” Reuters quoted Putin as saying, in a meeting with Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus.

The Russia president’s remarks come even as Moscow’s siege of Kyiv enters a third week and has widened its bombing campaign into western Ukraine.

April gold

 was trading $29.10, or 1.5%, to $1,971.10 an ounce, after gaining 0.6% on Thursday. Friday’s downdraft comes after futures

settled at $2,043.30, their highest in about 19 months—teasing a record settlement high of $2,069.40 from Aug. 6, 2020.

So far this, was clinging to a 0.2% weekly rise, FactSet data show.

Overall, analysts are anticipating that gold will maintain a bullish, albeit volatile, trend, as rising U.S. and E.U. inflation continues to weigh on investors’ minds and fears grow that price pressures haven’t yet peaked.

The U.S. consumer-price index hit a 7.9% annual rate in February, according to data released on Thursday, with the surge in the cost of living in the past 12 months the biggest since January 1982. The consumer-price index rose 0.8% in the month. The data doesn’t yet reflect the impact of higher prices from the war in Ukraine that is disrupting supplies of oil, metals and grains.

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