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Gold prices higher in Asia after ECB, U.S. jobs in focus

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold prices rose slightly in Asia on Friday as a follow-on to ultra-loose monetary policy by the European Central Bank overnight with the focus now on U.S. data later today expected to show a gain of 218,000 jobs.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,253.50a troy ounce, up 0.02%, after hitting a session high $1,257.70 a troy ounce.

Prices rallied by as much as 1.06% after the ECB decision and hit a session high of $1,257.70. Gold declined 0.02%, or 20 cents, on Wednesday to settle at $1,244.30. Prices hit an 18-week low of $1,240.20 on June 3.

The European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 0.15% from the 0.25% rate held since November earlier in the day.

The central bank also cut its marginal lending rate to 0.40% from 0.75% and lowered its deposit facility rate to -0.10% from 0.0%, thereby charging commercial banks for deposits parked overnight with the central bank.

Speaking at the ECB's post-policy meeting press conference, Draghi outlined a number of other liquidity-boosting measures, including a targeted long term loan program and said it was preparing for asset-backed security purchases.

The comments saw the euro tumble to a four-month low of 1.3501 against the U.S. dollar.

Gold found additional support after data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 31 increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 from the previous week's revised total of 304,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 6,000 to 310,000 last week.

Silver for July delivery fell 0.18% to trade at $19.048 a troy ounce. Copper for July delivery rose 0.05% to trade at $3.093 a pound amid growing concerns over the demand outlook in China.

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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.

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