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Gold near 6-week low

Friday, August 01 08:35:12

Gold held near a six-week low on Friday and was on track for a third straight weekly loss as U.S. economic optimism offset any safe-haven demand from geopolitical tensions. The optimism stemming from a string of strong U.S. data is likely to increase as the July nonfarm payrolls report scheduled for release later in the day is expected to show the world's top economy maintaining a solid pace of jobs growth.

Spot gold edged up slightly to $1,283.90 an ounce by 0632 GMT, after falling 1 percent in the previous session. It hit $1,280.76 on Thursday - the lowest since June 19.

Gold was on track for a 2 percent fall for the week, after posting its sharpest monthly drop of the year in July. The third consecutive weekly drop would be gold's longest such losing streak since September.

A strong economy blunts gold's appeal as an alternative to riskier assets such as equities. The precious metal's sharp losses on Thursday were triggered by data showing U.S. labour costs recorded their biggest gain in more than 5-1/2 years in the second quarter.

Physical demand, however, failed to pick up in a robust way despite the price drop on Thursday, a dealer in Hong Kong said. U.S. gold coin sales dropped about 40 percent in July from a month ago

Spot gold is expected to slip to $1,271 as it has broken below a support at $1,284, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said. (Reuters)

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