Gold prices inch up, investors shift focus to upcoming US economic data

Gold prices edged up on Friday but stayed close to one-year lows, with investors waiting for data later in the day on US economic growth.


Spot gold was up 0.04 per cent at $1,222.70 an ounce at 0102 GMT. The metal was set to fall for a third week, down about 0.7 per cent.

US gold futures were 0.3-per cent lower at $1,222.10 an ounce.

New orders for key US-made capital goods increased more than expected in June and shipments surged, pointing to solid growth in business spending on equipment in the second quarter.

The dollar stood tall against its peers on Friday, having regained traction as the euro slid sharply after the European Central Bank offered little in the way of surprises over its planned timing to move away from its accommodative monetary policy.

The US Commerce Department will continue its probe into whether auto imports pose a national security risk despite ongoing trade talks with the European Union, but President Donald Trump asked that no action be taken at this time, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

As trade tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing, the US Senate quietly passed legislation on Thursday that would lower trade barriers on hundreds of items made in China.

The United States signaled on Thursday it is set to push ahead on trade talks with Canada and Mexico after agreeing to suspend hostilities over tariffs with Europe in a fragile deal that may clear the way for renewed pressure on China.

Trump on Thursday threatened to slap "large sanctions" on Turkey unless it freed an American pastor, prompting an angry response from Ankara and further escalating tensions between the two NATO allies.

Leaders of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies, meeting in the wake of tariff threats by Trump, signed a declaration supporting an open and inclusive multilateral trading system under World Trade Organisation rules at their summit in South Africa on Thursday.

India's Sun Gold and China National Gold are launching a joint gold mining project in Russia's Siberia region, the two companies said in a joint statement during the Johannesburg summit of BRICS member states.

China's net gold imports via main conduit Hong Kong jumped 40.3 per cent in June from the previous month to their highest since March 2017, data showed on Thursday.

Hundreds of South African gold mine workers were rescued and over 100 treated for smoke inhalation after an underground fire, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday.

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