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Gold prices ease in Asia, metals await China retail, industrial data

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices fell early in Asia on Friday on profit taking after a run-up overnight on geopolitical tension over Iraq.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,273.00 a troy ounce, down 0.08%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,260.10 and off a high of $1,275.00.

Iraqi insurgents linked to al-Qaeda reportedly took full control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday and advanced closer to the capital, Baghdad.

On Wednesday, militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seized the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit, fueling concerns the conflict could hamper global recovery, which weakened the dollar.

Gold and the dollar tend to trade inversely with one another.

The U.S. said that it is working with Iraq's leaders on a coordinated response to regain lost territory.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said Iraq would need assistance from the U.S. to push the insurgents back.

Soft U.S. economic indicators supported gold as well.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% in May, missing expectations for a 0.6% gain. However, retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, eased up 0.1% in May, disappointing forecasts for a 0.2% increase. Core sales in April were revised up to 0.4% from a previously reported flat reading.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to 317,000, confounding expectations for a decline of 3,000.

Silver for July delivery was down 0.08% at $19.517 a troy ounce. Copper futures for July delivery were up 0.05% at $3.015 a pound.

Copper prices are expected to closely react to China retail sales and industrial production data for May at 1330 Beijing (0530 GMT). Retail sales rose 11.9% year-on-year in April and are expected to have accelerated to 12.1%. Industrial production, which came in at a gain of 8.7% year-on-year in April, is expected at a rise of 8.8%. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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