Forexpros - Last week saw gold futures notch their seventh consecutive weekly gain, the longest stretch since April 2007, as mounting concerns over the global economic outlook and lingering fears over the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis boosted the safe haven appeal of the precious metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery settled at USD1,852.55 a troy ounce by close of trade on Friday, jumping 5.85% over the week, the biggest weekly gain since February 2009.
Gold prices rallied as much as 3% to hit an all-time high of USD1,878.35 a troy ounce on Friday, eclipsing the previous day's record high, as traders sought shelter from steep losses in equity markets, amid heightened fears of a global economic slowdown.
However, the precious metal pared gains as European equities came off their lows and some profit-taking emerged.
Global financial service provider Credit Suisse warned in a report on Friday that gold prices are susceptible of a correction in the short-term, "before stabilizing and resuming its uptrend".
Gold futures jumped nearly 2% on Thursday after a flurry of weak U.S. data boosted speculation the U.S. economic recovery was stalling.
Among the disappointing U.S. economic reports was data on existing home sales and weekly jobless claims, which both came in below market expectations, while an index of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region plunged to the lowest level since March 2009 in August.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was concerned that the euro zone's debt crisis could "eventually hinder the ability of European banks to fund loans and meet other financial obligations in the U.S."
The report sparked sharp losses in shares of major European lenders and fuelled concerns over the health of the region's banking sector.
Gold prices found further support after the World Gold Council said in a report late Thursday that investment demand for gold in India soared 78% to 108.5 metric tons during the second quarter, while jewelry demand increased 17% to 139.8 tons.
In China, gold investment demand jumped 44% to 53 tons in the second quarter, while jewelry demand rose 16% to 102.9 tons, the council said.
India is the world's largest gold consumer, followed by China.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery traded at USD42.93 a troy ounce by close of trade on Friday, the highest price since May 3, soaring 8.9% on the week, as investors sought a cheaper alternative to gold.
Looking ahead to the coming week, gold prices were expected to remain well-supported amid speculation that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could use the Jackson Hole symposium to announce additional measures to support the U.S. economy.
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