Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday as the dollar weakened after downbeat U.S. jobless claims data reinforced fears of a slower recovery from the pandemic-induced economic crisis, keeping bullion on track for a weekly gain. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,949.83 per ounce by 0030 GMT. Gold has risen nearly 0.5% so far this week after registering its worst week in five months. * U.S. gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,958.30. * The dollar index fell 0.2% against its rivals, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. * Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing a new claim for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly back above the 1 million mark last week, a setback for a struggling U.S. job market crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. * More than 22.56 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 787,814 have died, according to a Reuters tally. * The readout of the Federal Reserve's July 28-29 meeting, published on Wednesday, showed policymakers concerned that an economic recovery faced a highly uncertain path. * Japan's core consumer prices were stubbornly unchanged in July, dashing hopes for a modest rise as the pandemic hit household demand. * Meanwhile, the Trump administration declined to acknowledge any plans to meet with China over the Phase 1 trade deal after the commerce ministry in Beijing said bilateral talks would be held "in the coming days". * Asian equities were poised to rise on Friday after a tech-driven rally on Wall Street. * Silver gained 0.6% to $27.38 per ounce, platinum climbed 0.5% to $922.24, and palladium rose 0.2% to $2,185.54. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0800 EU Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Aug 0830 UK Flash Composite, Mfg, Serv PMIs Aug 1345 US Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Aug 1400 US Existing Home Sales July (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.