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Gold prices ticked up on Friday and were on track for a weekly gain, as recent economic data prompted traders to raise bets of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve later this year.

Gold in tight range with US economic data on tap

Fundamentals

  • Spot gold was up 0.1% at $2,347.98 per ounce, as of 0046 GMT. Bullion prices have risen 2% so far this week. * US gold futures rose 0.6% to $2,354.10.

  • Data on Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, offering more evidence that the labour market was steadily cooling.

  • Financial markets expect the Fed to start its easing cycle in September. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding gold.

  • Focus has now shifted to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment reading at 1400 GMT and the consumer price index data due next week.

  • There is “considerable” uncertainty about where US inflation will head in coming months, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly said on Thursday, while adding she still has faith that price pressures are continuing to ease.

  • Elsewhere, a senior Israeli official said late on Thursday that the latest round of indirect negotiations in Cairo to halt hostilities in Gaza had ended and Israel would proceed with its operation in Rafah and other parts of the Gaza Strip as planned.

  • Spot silver fell 0.1% to $28.31 per ounce but was poised to register its best week in five.

  • Platinum firmed 0.8% to $985.40 and palladium rose 0.1% to $968.25. Both metals were set for weekly gains.

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