MTECHTIPS-Gold prices retraced losses on Friday after a Federal Reserve official said the central bank was in no rush to tighten monetary policy this year. Gold for April delivery settled up 0.19% at $1,247.4 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, having touched lows of $1,246.4 earlier. Gold moved higher after New York Fed President William Dudley said Friday that it made sense to raise rates at a gradual pace this year. Expectations of a slower pace of rate increases tend to boost gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise. The precious metal ended the quarter with a gain of almost 8.5% boosted by the weaker dollar and growing doubts over whether the Trump administration’s economic proposals would boost the U.S. economy and allow the Fed to tighten policy more aggressively. Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was up 0.3% at $18.26 a troy ounce late Friday. Platinum was down 0.24% at $953.4 a troy ounce, while palladium rose 0.1% to $798.62 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, copper fell 0.58% to $2.65 a pound following news that a labor dispute at Freeport-Memo Ran’s Peruvian Cicero Verde mine had ended. In the week ahead, investors will be looking to Wednesday’s Fed minutes for fresh indications on the timing of the next U.S. rate hike ahead of Friday’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report
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