equities, US jobs data in focus

Andrew Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold eased on Friday as appetite for riskier assets improved after a string of strong corporate earnings, while investors awaited the U.S. jobs report for April to gauge the economic impact of coronavirus-induced restrictions.

Spot gold slipped 0.2% to $1,713.97 an ounce by 0052 GMT. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,725.70.

The metal gained about 2% on Thursday on the back of bleak U.S. economic data, which along with uncertainties over global economic recovery and U.S.-China relations, lifted bullion higher by about 0.9% so far this week.

Millions more Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, with the total number of people who have filed claims since March 21 rising to about 33.5 million, data showed on Thursday.

Asian stocks were set to track Wall Street gains after upbeat corporate earnings took the focus off upcoming data that is expected show the worst U.S. unemployment rate in more than 70 years.

U.S. non-farm payrolls, due later in the day, are forecast to have plunged by a historic 22 million in April, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

Though states have begun to reopen their economies, it is not clear consumers are ready to venture back to the marketplace, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic said on Thursday.

Trade negotiators from the United States and China will hold a phone call as early as next week about progress in implementing the Phase 1 trade deal, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Financial markets began pricing in a negative U.S. interest rate environment for the first time on Thursday, a place the Federal Reserve is determined not to go.

The Bank of England said Britain could be headed for its biggest economic slump in over 300 years due to the lockdown and kept the door open on Thursday for more stimulus next month.

Japan’s March inflation-adjusted real wages fell for the first time in three months, government data showed on Friday.

Palladium rose 1% to $1,873.91 per ounce, platinum gained 0.3% to $765.51, while silver fell 1.5% to $15.27.

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US dollar, economic data in focus

U.S. dollar banknotes. Liu Jie | Xinhua via Getty The dollar slipped on Friday as investors defied a broader sense of doom around upcoming U.S. employment data and found reasons to buy riskier currencies with more governments slowly reopening their economies for business. The greenback was undermined by a further […]