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Gold Futures Settle At Fresh Record High

Gold futures settled at a record high on Friday as worries about global growth increased amid fears of the re-imposition of lockdown measures due to spikes in coronavirus cases across the world.

Recent disappointing economic data from the U.S. and Europe also prompted traders to seek the safe-haven asset.

The dollar's strength somewhat limited gold's gains. The dollar index rose to 93.54, gaining more than 0.5%, before paring some gains.

Gold futures for December ended up $19.10 or about 1% at $1,985.90 an ounce. Gold futures ended lower on Thursday, snapping a nine-day winning streak. For the week, gold future gained about 4.8%.

Silver futures for September moved up $0.854 to settle at $24.216 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.8680 per pound, down $0.0460 from previous close.

In economic news, personal income in the U.S. slumped by more than expected in the month of June, according to a report released by the Commerce Department.

The report said personal income tumbled by 1.1% in June after plunging by a downwardly revised 4.4% in May. Economists had expected personal income to decrease by 0.5% compared to the 4.2% nosedive originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said personal spending surged up by 5.6% in June after skyrocketing by an upwardly revised 8.5% in May. Personal spending had been expected to jump by 5.5% compared to the 8.2% spike originally reported for the previous month.

Following twelve straight months of contraction, MNI Indicators released a report on Friday showing an unexpected expansion in Chicago-area business activity in the month of July. MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer spiked to 51.9 in July from 36.6 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in regional business activity. Economists had expected the index to jump to 43.9.

With the much bigger than expected increase, the Chicago business barometer reached its highest level since May of 2019.

Consumer sentiment in the U.S. deteriorated by more than initially estimated in the month of July, according to a report released by the University of Michigan.

The report said the consumer sentiment index for July was downwardly revised to 72.5 from the preliminary reading of 73.2. The index is down from 78.1 in June and below economist estimates for a reading of 73.0.

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