Commodities: Greenback on the backfoot after Yellen speech, gold the main beneficiary

Wyoming was first chosen as the venue because of its fly fishing and has lured big names including Janet Yellen chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve

After Yellen, investors were looking to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's speech later on Friday, but like the Fed chair, he may end up not delivering any monetary policy message.

The Dodd-Frank law and regulations put in place since the financial crisis have made the financial system "substantially safer", Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday in a ringing defense of the rules now under fire from President Donald Trump and J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

USA equities and stock exchange traded funds were on pace for their first weekly gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left out hints of monetary policy changes, leaving the possibility of a rate hike later this year.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is "100% confident" the debt ceiling will be raised in time.

In addition, the Fed said in its last FOMC meeting that it expects to begin reducing its bond holdings "relatively soon" if the USA economy continues stable growth.

Overall, the Fed chair said, "any adjustment to the regulatory framework should be modest and preserve the increase in resilience" in a financial system she said is now better able to weather future shocks.

After reporting a sharp jump in new orders for US manufactured durable goods in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a sharp pullback in durable goods orders in the month of July.

Among individual stocks, Walmart saw some of the strongest gains, rising 0.9%.

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That might keep the Fed from raising rates any more this year given the recent softness in inflation. "We need to get capital available to small and medium-size businesses and for entrepreneurs".

The U.S. dollar bought 109.29 Japanese yen, lower than 109.36 yen of the previous session.

Yellen offered only scant clues as to whether the Fed might raise interest rates again this year, something increasingly in doubt among analysts. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, edged down 0.12% at 93.12 by 8:09AM ET (12:09GMT).

Petroleum-linked stocks gained as some oil producers curtailed production due to Hurricane Harvey and gasoline prices rose in anticipation of refinery outages.

However, traders said volumes were low, as they tend to be during the summer months, making market moves more pronounced.

At 12:42 p.m. ET (1642 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 55.26 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,838.66 and the S&P 500 was up 6.91 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,445.88.

The firm on Thursday reported sales of nearly $1.3bn for the three months to the end of July, up more than 20% year-on-year.

Palladium XPD= fell 0.2 percent to $929.90 per ounce after reaching $940.50, a 16-1/2 year high.

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