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PRECIOUS-Gold rises as softer dollar, recovery concerns lift demand

    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)
  
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