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Gold Futures Settle At 2-week Low On Upbeat Economic Data

Gold prices drifted lower on Friday as buoyant consumer sentiment data and the dollar's strength against most major currencies weighed on the commodity.

The bullion's weakness was also due to a recovery in global stocks after the U.S. officially announced that it would delay a decision on imposing tariffs on imports of cars from Japan and European countries.

The dollar index advanced to 98.01 before retreating slightly to 97.96, still up in positive territory with a gain of about 0.14%.

Gold futures for June ended down $10.50, or 0.8%, at $1,275.70 an ounce, the lowest settlement price since May 2.

On Thursday, gold futures for June ended down $11.60, or 0.9%, at $1,286.20 an ounce. Gold futures shed about 0.9% in the week.

Silver futures for July ended down $0.151, at $14.388 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled lower by $0.0095, at $2.7385 per pound.

According to the report from the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment improved substantially in the month of May, thanks to a spike in consumer expectations.

The preliminary report showed the consumer sentiment index surged up to 102.4 in May from 97.2 in April, reaching its highest level in fifteen years. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 97.5.

The much bigger than expected increase by the headline index came as the index of consumer expectations soared to 96.0 in May from 87.4 in April.

"Consumers viewed prospects for the overall economy much more favorably, with the economic outlook for the near and longer term reaching their highest levels since 2004," said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.

However, Curtin noted, "The gains were recorded mostly before the trade negotiations with China collapsed and China responded with their own tariffs."

Meanwhile, a reading on leading U.S. economic indicators rose by slightly less than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the Conference Board on Friday.

The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged up by 0.2% in April after climbing by a revised 0.3% in March.

Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.4% increase originally reported for the previous month.

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