Investing.com - Gold traders will continue to monitor political risks and watch developments in equity markets in the week ahead, after the failure by the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump to agree to a spending bill by midnight Saturday resulted in a partial U.S. government shutdown.
Gold is often sought in times of geopolitical tension or market turbulence.
Meanwhile, reports that President Trump suggested firing Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, a move that could roil already volatile financial markets, will also be in focus.
Last week, the U.S. central bank lifted rates for the fourth time this year and kept most of its guidance for additional hikes over the next two years, dashing investor hopes for a more dovish policy outlook.
Elsewhere, on the data front, the U.S. will see a relatively quiet week in terms of economic releases, with reports on consumer confidence and the housing sector expected to draw the most attention.
Trading volumes are expected to remain light during the week due to the Christmas holiday as many traders already closed books before the end of the year.
Gold futures ended lower Friday, pulling back from a nearly six-month high.
Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $9.80, or roughly 0.8%, to settle at $1,258.10. The precious metal hit a high of $1,270.30 on Thursday, a level last seen on June 25.
For the week, gold prices gained about 1.4%.
Though prices have strengthened in recent months to trade more than 5% higher quarter to date, they have still lost nearly 4% for the year so far.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver futures lost around 1.2% to close at $14.70 a troy ounce, but saw a weekly gain of roughly 0.4%.
Among base metals, copper slumped 0.8% to end at $2.674 a pound, with prices down about 3.2% on the week.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, December 24
U.S. precious metal markets will see an abbreviated session in observation of Christmas Eve.
Tuesday, December 25
Markets stateside will remain closed for Christmas.
Wednesday, December 26
The U.S. will release the latest report on home prices from S&P/Case-Shiller.
Thursday, December 27
The U.S. will publish data on CB consumer confidence, weekly jobless claims and new home sales.
Friday, December 28
The U.S. is to round up the week with data on pending home sales, wholesale inventories, the trade deficit and manufacturing activity in the Chicago-region.
-- Reuters contributed to this report