BENGALURU - Gold prices were mostly unchanged on Friday, with investors waiting for cues from speeches by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at a gathering of central bankers in the United States.
Spot gold was unchanged at $1,286.65 an ounce by 0650 GMT, after dropping nearly 0.3 percent in the previous session.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,291.80 per ounce.
Although no new policy messages are expected from either Yellen or Draghi, investors will be watching for clues on their outlook on monetary policy and interest rates.
The world's top central bankers are meeting with their confidence bolstered by a sustained return to economic growth that may eventually allow the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan to follow the Federal Reserve in winding down their crisis-era policies.
"Gold markets are basically in a holding pattern. They would be carefully scrutinising comments from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank officials as to their outlook for inflation, and resultant monetary policy stance," said John Sharma, economist at National Australia Bank.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the greenback.
The dollar was buoyant against the yen on Friday as some participants bought back the currency to square positions ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting. [USD/]
Escalating geopolitical concerns were also preventing gold prices from retreating significantly, market participants said.
"Political uncertainty remains high and continues to provide a strong level of support to prices. Trump's barrage of tweets during negotiations over the debt ceiling continues to fuel a level of uncertainty in the market," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said in a note.
President Donald Trump on Thursday picked a new fight with his fellow Republicans, saying congressional leaders could have avoided a "mess" over raising the U.S. debt ceiling if they had taken his advice.
Gold is used as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.
Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,282-$1,289 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.
Among other precious metals, silver edged up 0.3 percent to $16.97 an ounce, while platinum slipped 0.1 percent to $977.50 an ounce.
Palladium was up 0.2 pct at $933.50 per ounce, and had gained 1.2 percent so far in the week.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Biju Dwarakanath)