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Gold Edges Higher Ahead Of U.S. Payrolls Data

Gold prices rose slightly on Thursday and the dollar dipped as investors look ahead to the U.S. Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report for June later in the day for further clues about the health of the world's largest economy.

Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,773.99 per ounce, after having touched $1,788.96 on Wednesday, its highest level since October 2012. U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,785.15.

Risk sentiment improved somewhat as encouraging news on a vaccine for Covid-19 as well as upbeat manufacturing PMI data across the globe helped revive hopes for a quick economic recovery.

However, concerns persist about the spread of the coronavirus after the United States recorded its biggest one-day spike in coronavirus cases and California reimposed some coronavirus lockdown measures.

Elsewhere, China today warned of strong countermeasures if the U.S., Australia and the U.K. continued taking actions in response to Beijing's tough national security law in Hong Kong.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation that would penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law.

The United Kingdom condemned China's new security law on Hong Kong as a threat to the city's freedom and said it would offer a path to citizenship for eligible Hong Kong residents.

Australia said it is working on a scheme to provide safe haven to Hong Kong residents.

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