August 1, 2014 / 12:31 AM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near 6-week low; poised for third weekly loss

SINGAPORE, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Gold was stuck near a six-week
low on Friday and headed for a third straight weekly loss, as
U.S. economic optimism offset any safe-haven demand from
geopolitical tensions and lower equities.  
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,282.79 an ounce
by 0017 GMT, after falling 1 percent in the previous session. It
hit $1,280.76 on Thursday - its lowest since June 19. 
    * Gold was on track for a 2 percent fall for the week, after
posting its sharpest monthly drop of the year in July.
    * The metal was hurt by data on Thursday that showed that
U.S. labour costs recorded their biggest gain in more than 5-1/2
years in the second quarter, bolstering the economy's outlook. A
strong economy blunts gold's appeal as an alternative to riskier
assets such as equities. 
    * Investors were now awaiting U.S. nonfarm payrolls data to
for further clues about the economy, even as they were keeping
an eye on geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Ukraine.
    * Support for gold from the physical markets was also weak.
U.S. gold coin sales fell about 40 percent in July from a month
ago, as solid performance in the world's biggest economy more
than curbed bullion demand. 
    * Chinese gold jewellery demand fell for the first time in
eight years in the second quarter and could drop as much as 20
percent in the full year, a leading precious metals consultancy
    * India is scrambling to crack down on a new gold smuggling
tactic that it fears could accelerate a flood of illegal imports
of the precious metal into the world's second-biggest buyer.
    * Gold transferred between accounts held by bullion clearers
dipped to an average volume of 17.9 million ounces a day last
month, down 5.5 percent from May's figure, the London Bullion
Market Association said. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
    * Global equity markets tumbled on Thursday, hurt by ongoing
tensions with Russia and Argentina's second default in 12 years,
while the U.S. dollar edged higher against a basket of major
currencies for its strongest monthly gain in over a year.
    0100 China Official manufacturing PMI July 
    0145 China HSBC manufacturing PMI final July 
    0750 France Markit manufacturing PMI July 
    0755 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI July 
    0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI July 
    1230 U.S. Non-farm payrolls July 
    1230 U.S. Unemployment rate July 
    1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI July 
    1400 U.S. Construction spending June
    PRICES AT 0017 GMT    
 Metal            Last      Change   Pct chg
 Spot gold         1282.79      0.7     0.05
 Spot silver         20.35        0        0
 Spot platinum     1455.91     1.51      0.1
 Spot palladium     869.25     2.55     0.29
 Comex gold         1282.8      1.5     0.12
 Comex silver         20.4   -0.012    -0.06
 Euro               1.3388                  
 DXY                81.457                  
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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