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Gold trims losses as weak U.S. data pressures greenback

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Forexpros - Gold futures trimmed earlier losses on Monday, as the U.S. dollar fell to fresh session lows following downbeat data on manufacturing activity in the New York region and a report showing foreigners were net sellers of U.S. assets in June.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,742.45 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, dipping 0.3%.

It earlier fell as much as 0.8% to trade at a daily low of USD1,729.55 a troy ounce.

The euro jumped 1.4% to trade at a one-week high of 1.4445, while the dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.91% to hit 74.03, the lowest since August 10.

Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

The greenback's losses came after official data showed that an index of manufacturing conditions in New York State fell by 3.9 points to minus 7.7 in August from minus 3.8 in July.

Analysts had expected the index to improve to minus 0.4 in August.

A separate report showed that net foreign purchases of long-term U.S. securities totaled USD3.7 billion in June, significantly below expectations of USD30.1 billion.

The disappointing data raised the specter of further quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, boosting the precious metal's appeal.

Meanwhile, data released earlier showed that Japan's economy contracted by 0.3% in the second quarter, below expectations for a 0.9% decline, signaling the country is rebounding from March's earthquake disaster.

Global financial service provider Commerzbank said in a report that, "further consolidation is likely for gold, as financial markets calm."

Despite the pullback, the lender expected gold prices to remain well-supported, as the debt crisis in the euro zone "is far from over."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy planned to meet in Paris on Tuesday to address the region's ongoing debt woes.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September advanced 0.85% to trade at USD39.44 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery added 0.6% to trade USD4.025 a pound.

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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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