Gold held steady early on Friday after falling to its lowest in over two months the session before, with weak U.S. manufacturing data raising doubts on the
economy’s strength ahead of closely-watched nonfarm payroll numbers.
* Spot gold had edged up 0.1 percent to $1,315.16 per ounce by 0058 GMT. The metal on Thursday touched its lowest since June 24 at $1,301.91.
* U.S. gold futures were nearly unchanged at $1,317.50.
* U.S. factory activity contracted in August for the first time in six months as new orders and production tumbled, but a low level of layoffs continued to point to a pickup in economic growth in the third-quarter.
* Other U.S. data showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, pointing to sustained labour market strength.
* An upbeat nonfarm payrolls report on Friday would reinforce the view that a U.S. rate hike may be on the cards, after Fed officials sounded a hawkish note at a meeting last weekend.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell for a third straight session. Holdings dropped 0.57 percent to 937.89 tonnes on Thursday.
* Bolivia responded to last week’s murder of a government official by announcing a crackdown on mining cooperatives on Thursday, saying it would return contracts signed between them and private companies to state control.
* Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s largest gold miner, said on Thursday it had brought back a former executive to advance a scaled-back development plan for its suspended Pascua-Lama project that will first focus on Argentina.
* Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd (Implats), the world’s No.2 producer of the white metal, narrowed annual losses to 70 million rand ($4.77 million).