Gold futures settled lower on Friday, but climbed for the month. "Renewed signs that the Federal Reserve may not taper anytime soon continues to sweeten appetite for the precious metal, while negative COVID-19 developments may boost attraction towards the safe-haven asset," said Lukman Otunuga, manager, market analysis at FXTM. Looking ahead however, gold may face multiple headwinds "as the Fed finds it increasingly difficult to defend its dovish stance," he said. With annual inflation in the U.S. already at a 13-year high and the economy recovering, "hawks are bound to enter the scene," and such a development "could throw a proverbial wrench in the works for gold bulls, sending prices tumbling lower." December gold /zigman2/quotes/210039437/delayed GCZ21 +1.22% fell by $18.60, or 1%, to settle at $1,817.20 an ounce. Based on the most-active contract, prices rose nearly 0.9% for the week and were up 2.6% for the month, according to Dow Jones Market Data.