Gold holds near 7 week high on weak US economic data

Gold prices held early on Wednesday near a seven-week high struck in the previous session, as downbeat US data weakened the prospect of the Federal Reserve pursuring an aggressive rate hike stance.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,268.00 per ounce at 0109 GMT. It hit $1,273.97 in the previous session, the highest since June 14.

US gold futures for December delivery fell 0.4 per cent to $1,274.10 per ounce.

A gauge of US factory activity slid from a near three-year high in July amid a slowdown in new orders and consumer spending barely rose in the prior month, setting the stage for a moderate economic expansion in the third quarter.

The US dollar briefly touched a 15-month low on Tuesday on political turmoil in Washington and weak US economic data that kept the Federal Reserve’s policy outlook uncertain.

The United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, but only on the understanding that it can never be a nuclear power, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump grudgingly accepted new congressional sanctions on Russia, Tillerson said on Tuesday, remarks in contrast with those of Vice President Mike Pence, who said the bill showed Trump and Congress speaking “with a unified voice.”

The euro zone economy confirmed a robust expansion in the second quarter of the year, growing twice as much as Britain for the second consecutive quarter, preliminary estimates released by the European Union’s statistics agency showed on Tuesday.

Venezuela jailed two leading critics of President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday in a fresh blow to the opposition after the election of a new political body with sweeping powers to strengthen the hand of the leftist government.

Asian stocks paused near decade-highs on Wednesday as investors waited to see if strong earnings results from tech bellwether Apple would ripple out to component makers in the region.

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