* Gold set for third straight weekly rise
* Silver set for best week since May (Updates prices)
Aug 27 (Reuters) – Gold bounced over 1% on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell stopped short of signalling when the U.S. central bank would start withdrawing its economic support and reiterated his view that current price spikes are transitory.
Spot gold rose 1.4% to $1,817.21 per ounce by 1:33 p.m. EDT (1733 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up 0.9% at $1,819.50.
“They’re not going to raise rates anytime soon and taper talk won’t come back into play until next week’s jobs report. That cleared the path for gold, and as it broke above $1,800, it’s eying the next resistance level at around $1,820,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
In a virtual speech to the Jackson Hole economic conference, Powell signalled the U.S. central bank will remain patient and repeated that he wants to avoid chasing “transitory” inflation and potentially discouraging job growth in the process – a defence in effect of current Fed policy.
“Bolstering gold, Powell used the Delta ‘shield’ to buy time for more employment data before a taper announcement. It’s clear that the Fed won’t make a taper announcement until September or ideally November,” a trader based in New York said.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and boost the dollar.
Lending a further boost to bullion, benchmark U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar weakened after Powell’s comments.
“You’d need next week’s jobs report to show a miss, a resurgence of the Delta variant or geopolitical risks with more news coming from Afghanistan for gold to break substantially higher,” Streible said.
Silver rose 2.2% to $24.05 an ounce, heading for its best week since May.
Platinum jumped 3.2% to $1,010.73 an ounce, while palladium climbed 0.8% to $2,411.54. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao and Steve Orlofsky)