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Gold Ends Modestly Higher As Dollar Eases

Gold futures edged higher on Friday, regaining some ground after recording their biggest single session loss in about two weeks in the previous session. A softer dollar contributed to the yellow metal's modest rise.

Strong results from JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo and a few other top notch U.S. companies, and rising optimism over a trade agreement between the U.S. and China helped keep investors inclined towards stocks and this limited the gains of the bullion.

The dollar index dropped by more than 0.2% to 96.55.

Gold futures for June ended up $1.90, or 0.2%, at $1,295.20 an ounce.

On Thursday, gold futures for June ended down $20.60, or 1.6%, at $1,293.30 an ounce. Dollar futures posted a slender loss of about $0.40 in the week.

Silver futures for May ended up $0.096, at $14.963 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.9460 per pound, gaining $0.0590.

In U.S. economic news today, a report from thee University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment has deteriorated by more than anticipated in the month of April.

The preliminary report showed the consumer sentiment index dropped to 96.9 in April from the final March reading of 98.4. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 98.0.

The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index reflected less optimism about the economic outlook, as the index of consumer expectations slid to 85.8 in April from 88.8 in March.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index inched up to 114.2 in April from 113.3 in the previous month.

Data released by the Labor Department showed U.S. import prices increased by more than expected in the month of March, due to another spike in prices of fuel imports.

The report said import prices climbed by 0.6% in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 1% in February.

Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.4%, compared to the 0.6% increase originally reported for the previous month.

In news from China, the trade data released today proved to be a mixed bag, with exports rebounding to a five-month high while imports fell more than expected.

Official data showed that China's exports rose 14.2% in March from a year earlier, beating analysts' expectations and marking the strongest growth in five months.

Imports dropped an annual 7.6%, worse than analysts' forecasts for a 1.3% fall and widening from February's 5.2% fall.

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