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Gold gains in Asia as investors see continued easy monetary policies

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold prices ticked up in Asia on Friday in a busy data day despite a holiday in many countries as investors saw continued easy monetary policies.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery rose 0.09% to $1,183.50 a troy ounce.

Elsewhere, silver for July delivery gained 0.04% to $16.160 a troy ounce. Copper for July delivery, meanwhile, fell 0.07% to $2.882 a pound even after better than expected official manufacturing data.

Earlier, Japanese consumer price data showing a faster than expected pace as other data was mixed and more crucial wages data lay ahead.

The data was part of a busy suite due at the end of the week from around the region, even with many countries marking the May 1 labor day, including China which still posted official manufacturing figures as well as services.

USD/JPY changed hands at 119.66, up 0.23%,while AUD/USD traded at 0.7890, down 0.20%, even after better than expected China official manufacturing data. EUR/USD was down 1.1210, down 0.12%.

In Japan, core consumer prices rose 2.2% year-on-year in March, a touch higher than the 2.1% seen. As well, the jobless rate ticked down to 3.4%, better than the 3.5% expected.

But household spending dropped for the 12th straight time, falling 10.6%, although better than the 12.1% drop forecast by analysts.

Official China manufacturing data for April held at 50.1, better than an expected show, and just at the expansion zone. Non manufacturing, or services fell to 53.4 in April from 53.7 in March.

Overnight, gold plunged more than $30 on Thursday dropping below $1,200 an ounce, as a raft of stronger than expected U.S. economic data fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve could be more hawkish than previously indicated on the timing of an interest rate hike.

During a volatile stretch over the last week, gold futures have ended the session up or down by at least 1.35% in four of the last seven trading days.

On Thursday morning, the U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims for the week that ended April 25, fell by 34,000 to a 15-year low of 262,000.

Analysts had forecasted a dip of 6,000 for the week. It marked the lowest level since April, 2000. The four-week average for initial claims declined by 1,250 to 283,750, slightly lower than its level a month before.

On Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee indicated in a rate statement that it wanted to see improvements in the labor market before it decides to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade.

Separately, the Institute of Supply Management said its Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose by 6.0 points for the month to 52.3, up from 46.3 in March. New orders soared 12.8 points to 55.1, its highest reading since January and largest monthly increase in more than 30 years. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 50.0 for the month of April.

U.S. personal spending, meanwhile, rose by 0.4% for the month slightly below expectations of a 0.5% gain. Analysts had forecast a 0.2% in personal spending in April.

The Fed removed all calendar references to the timing of an interest rate hike on Wednesday, opting instead to take a data-driven approach. Moving forward, the Fed said it will take into account labor market conditions, inflationary pressures and expectations of international financial developments when it decides on the timing of a rate increase.

While the Fed previously indicated that it could raise its benchmark Federal Funds Rate from the current level of zero to 0.25% in June, it has become increasing likely that the U.S. Central Bank could delay the rate hike until September or December, following weeks of soft economic data since its FOMC meeting in March.

Gold, which is not attached to dividends or interest rates, struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets in periods of rising interest rates.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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