Gross domestic product in the U.S. during the first quarter of the year developed at a pace of 2.2 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A poll of economists administered by the news service indicated GDP growth would be at 2.6 percent for the first quarter.
In turn, that pushed up the price of gold, which benefits since it serves as an alternative investment and storage for wealth. Furthering the dollar's weakness is speculation that the U.S. government will take steps to spur the globe's largest economy via measures such as monetary easing.
The price of gold typically climbs amidst conjecture that the government will intervene for the sake of the economy.
"The idea that there will be another round of securities purchases, quantitative easing or an extension of operation twist will be somewhat bullish for gold," market analyst Sterling Smith with Country Hedging told the news source.
At 3:51 p.m. on Friday, gold futures gained 0.19 percent, a $3.20 lift to $1,663.70 per troy ounce.
MarketWatch reports the fourth quarter of last year saw the economy develop at a pace of 3 percent.
The news source noted concerns manifesting again about the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone as a rating service downgraded the credit rating of a nation facing challenges presented by the debt scourge.
The credit rating of Spain, host of the euro zone's fourth-largest economic system, was slashed two levels by Standard & Poor's.
S&P also noted the government of Spain is likely to step forward and offer economic and fiscal support to the nation's banks, which the sovereign debt crisis has targeted.
Reuters reports one analyst viewed additional troubles in the euro zone as being beneficial to the yellowish metal, so long as the embattled euro continues enduring the pinch of the debt scourge.
"The euro/dollar has held above $1.30 for some time, in the $1.30-$1.32 range, which coincides with gold also being caught in a range," analyst Robin Bhar with Societe Generale told the news source. "If the euro zone crisis deepens and we see the euro/dollar correct below $1.30, that could give a bit of a lift to gold."
The news source noted demand for bullion from India, which until earlier this year was the globe's top consumer of the yellowish metal before ceding the title to China, has been weaker than anticipated, particular during a holiday.
Bloomberg reports half of the 28 analysts it polled anticipate the price of gold will increase next week.
The news source noted three nations – Mexico, Russia and Turkey – increased their holdings of the yellowish metal by 44.8 metric tons during the month of March.
Ben Bernanke, chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said earlier this week that the institution he leads is set to act should the economy require additional stimulus, according to Bloomberg. The Bank of Japan implemented another step of its economic stimulus action, acquiring the equivalent of $124 billion in Japanese yen of debt.
"Ultra-loose monetary policies of recent years don't look like they're going to end any time soon," executive director Mark O'Byrne with brokerage GoldCore of Ireland told the news source. "The problems in the euro zone don't look like they're going to end any time soon. We've had a dip, and our advice to clients is always to buy the dip."
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