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Gold holds near three-week lows, heads for second straight weekly fall

Reuters  |  BENGALURU 

(Reuters) - Gold on Friday held steady near a three-week low hit in the previous session on a firmer dollar and strong U.S. economic data, and was headed for a second straight weekly fall.


* Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,254 per ounce by 0106 GMT. It hit its weakest since May 24 at $1,251.18 on Thursday. The metal has fallen nearly 1 percent so far this week.

* U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose 0.1 percent, to $1,256 per ounce.

* Asian stocks were steady, while the dollar held near a two-week high after solid economic data backed the case for tighter U.S. monetary policy. [MKTS/GLOB]

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to shrinking labour market slack that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again this year despite moderate inflation growth.

* Years of tepid economic recovery have Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers considering what was once unthinkable: abandoning decades-long efforts to hold inflation down and allowing price expectations to creep up.

* Euro zone governments threw Greece another 11th-hour credit lifeline on Thursday worth $9.5 billion and sketched new detail on possible debt relief as the IMF finally offered to help out after two years of hesitation.

* The Bank of England shocked financial markets on Thursday when it said three of its policymakers voted for an interest rate hike, the closest it has come to raising rates since 2007, despite signs of a slowdown in Britain's economy.

* British Prime Minister Theresa May's government said on Thursday it would launch her policy programme next week, a sign of confidence she will strike a deal to stay in power after days of political uncertainty since losing her majority.

* India gold imports surged to nearly $5 billion from $3.85 billion a month ago. Year-on-year, the import of the metal more than trebled, government data showed on Thursday.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund fell 0.14 percent to 853.68 tonnes on Thursday.[GOL/ETF]

* Authorities in the Argentine province of San Juan lifted restrictions on leaching operations at Barrick Gold Corp's Veladero mine on Thursday, but the world's biggest gold producer said it would not immediately resume full operations.

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)