Dollar moves, China data in focus

A gold bar is wrapped in a financial newspaper.

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Gold prices rose for a third straight session on Friday, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar, with investors awaiting the release of Chinese economic data due later in the day.

Fundamentals

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,960.29 per ounce by 0044 GMT. However, bullion has fallen nearly 4% so far this week and was on track for its first weekly decline since early June.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,967.50 per ounce.

The dollar index fell for a third consecutive session against its rivals, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

China is slated to publish activity data for July including retail sales, industrial production and urban investment at 0200 GMT.

Data out of the United States on Thursday showed jobless claims dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, although at least 28 million people are still receiving unemployment checks, indicating a weak labor market.

More than 20.73 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 749,871 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Washington continues to remain in a stalemate over additional U.S. stimulus plan. President Donald Trump said he was blocking Democrats’ effort to include funds for the U.S. Postal Service and election infrastructure in a new coronavirus relief bill.

Asian shares were set for a largely flat start on Friday.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.1% to 1,252.09 tonnes on Thursday.

Silver edged 0.1% lower to $27.53 per ounce, platinum was steady at $956.96 and palladium eased 0.1% to $2,163.97.

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