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Gold near 2-month low

Friday, August 22 08:16:02

Gold ticked up slightly on Friday after a five-day losing streak but held near a two-month low and was headed for its worst week in five, hurt by strong U.S. economic data and fears that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates sooner than expected.

Bullion was hit hard after minutes from the Fed's July meeting on Wednesday showed policymakers debated whether interest rates should be raised earlier given a surprisingly strong job market recovery.

The metal came under particular pressure on Thursday when a break below the 200-day moving average of $1,284 an ounce triggered stops and sent prices tumbling over 1 percent. Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent at $1,279.74 an ounce by 0626 GMT, near a two-month low of $1,273.06 hit on Thursday. The metal is down nearly 2 percent for the week, the biggest drop since the week ended July 18.

The dollar hovered just below its 2014 peak against a basket of major currencies early on Friday, with any further strengthening likely to add pressure to gold. Thursday data showing U.S. home resales raced to a 10-month high in July and the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week signalled strength in the economy, dulling gold's appeal as a safe-haven.

Investors fear strong data would prompt the Fed to soon raise interest rates. Higher rates would hurt non-interest bearing assets such as gold. (Reuters)

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