Gold futures extended gains for a sixth straight day to settle higher Friday, on prospects of fresh quantitative easing seemingly brighter with some soft economic data from the U.S. Investor concerns over eurozone financial crisis continued to persist ahead of the upcoming weekend elections in Greece. Gold prices gained 2.3 percent for the week.
Gold for August delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $8.50 or 0.5 percent to close at $1,628.10 an ounce Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold traded at an intraday high of $1,635.40 an ounce and a low of $1,620.40 an ounce.
Gold extended gains for a fifth session yesterday, on investor hopes of further quantitative easing after some weak initial jobless claims data from the U.S. and the record highs at the Spanish and Italian bond auctions.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, was trading at 81.724 on Friday, down from 82.917 in North American trade late Thursday. The dollar scaled a high of 81.94 intraday and a low of 81.62.
The euro traded higher against the dollar at $1.2625 on Friday, as compared to $1.2613 late Thursday. The euro scaled a high of $1.2633 intraday and a low of 1.2592.
In economic news from the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its general business conditions Empire State index dropped to 2.3 in June from 17.1 in May, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists expected the index to decrease modestly to 13.8.
With a drop in manufacturing output offsetting increases in mining and utilities production, a Federal Reserve report on Friday showed unexpected decrease in U.S. industrial production in the month of May. Production edged down by 0.1 percent in May after a downwardly revised 1.0 percent increase in April. Economists expected production to come in unchanged following the 1.1 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated more than anticipated in June, a report by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed Friday. The drop likely reflects the disappointing jobs data. The consumer sentiment index dropped to 74.1 in June from the final May reading of 79.3. Economists expected the index to decrease modestly to a reading of 77.5.
Euro area trade surplus dropped to 5.2 billion euros in April from 7.5 billion euros in March, Eurostat said. In April 2011, the trade balance showed a deficit of 4.5 billion euros. Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted trade surplus increased to 6.2 billion euros in April from 3.7 billion euros in the previous month.
Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the U.K. visible trade deficit increased to a seasonally adjusted GBP 10.1 billion in April from GBP 8.7 billion in March. The deficit was well above the consensus forecast of GBP 8.5 billion.
by RTT Staff Writer
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