(Kitco News) - Gold prices are modestly up in early U.S. trading Friday. Some risk aversion has returned to the marketplace late this week and that’s prompting just a bit of safe-haven demand for the yellow metal, as well as some short covering by the shorter-term gold futures traders. A firmer U.S. dollar index on this day is limiting the upside for the precious metal. October gold futures were last up $2.70 at $1,750.40. December Comex silver was last down $0.074 at $22.605 an ounce.
Global stock markets were mostly weaker in overnight trading. The U.S. stock indexes are also pointed to lower openings when the New York day session begins. There is some keener risk aversion to end the trading week, as the Chinese property giant Evergrande may have missed its $83 million debt payment that was due Thursday. There was no announcement the payment had been made, so many traders and investors are taking that to mean no payment was made Thursday. There are worries one of the biggest companies in the world’s second-largest economy being on the verge of insolvency could have a contagion effect not only in China but around the globe. History shows that when a financial market contagion begins, it’s very hard to contain. Mainly, it’s a crisis of confidence as traders and investors seek to pull their money out of riskier assets, and then the exit doors become clogged.
Also, it appears the marketplace is taking Wednesday’s FOMC meeting results, including Fed Chairman Powell’s comments at his press conference, to be more hawkish on U.S. monetary policy than at first reckoned. U.S. Treasury bond yields have risen the past two trading sessions, hitting the highest level since July. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note is presently fetching 1.41%. Powell is set to speak at a virtual event, along with other Federal Reserve officials, at 10:00 a.m. EDT Friday.