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Gold up as EU data rekindles growth fears


LONDON: Gold prices edged up on Thursday from the near 4-month low touched early in the session after data showing euro zone businesses were under pressure brought concerns about global growth back to the fore.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,275.71 per ounce by 0947 GMT, having fallen to its lowest since Dec. 27 at $1,270.63 earlier in the session.

The metal has so far lost about 1 per cent in the holiday-shortened week, on track for a fourth straight weekly decline. Most markets are closed for Good Friday on April 19.

Euro zone businesses started this quarter on the back foot, with growth unexpectedly slowing again, surveys showed. “The figures for the euro zone were mixed. The market clearly does not know what to do next. But the European Central Bank is going to be on hold, which is offering some support for gold,” Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig said.

Gold, as a non-yielding asset, tends to suffer when central banks raise interest rates. “The stock markets are down and that’s compensating a bit in gold,” Fertig added. “Uncertainty about the economic situation is also supporting the gold market a little bit.”

Global shares erased this week’s gains after the weak manufacturing surveys from Asia and Europe stoked fears of a slowdown in global growth.

The euro zone numbers come at a time when global markets were slowly recovering from fears of a slowdown after a slew of positive data from China and the United States.

Also on investors’ radar will be developments in US-China trade talks.

Washington and Beijing have set a tentative timeline for the next round of talks and are aiming to conclude negotiations by early June, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday. — Reuters

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