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Gold prices are likely to remain under pressure this week as traders digest the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting on Thursday, when markets re-open after Wednesday’s Independence Day holiday.The Fed hiked interest rates in June and signaled for the first time that they could lift rates four times this year, a typically gold-negative factor.On Friday, metals traders will turn their attention to the U.S. employment report for June for an update on the health of the labor market. The report is expected to show that hiring cooled.Last month’s jobs report was overshadowed by a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump that said he was looking forward to the data, so investors will likely keep an eye on the president’s Twitter account ahead of the release of the report.Alongside the jobs report, markets will watch for updates on the U.S. manufacturing and services sectors.Gold prices ticked higher on Friday as a rally in the dollar stalled, but still logged a weekly loss.Gold futures for August delivery rose $3.2 or 0.26% to settle at $1,254.20 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange late Friday. Its close on Thursday at $1,247.80 was the lowest since December 13.Gold prices saw a weekly loss of 1.27%, a decline of 3.75% for the month and a 5.41% drop for the quarter, leaving prices down 4.21% so far this year.Gold prices have slumped despite escalating trade tensions and uncertainty over the outlook for global growth as a stronger dollar and higher interest rates have negated any boost from safe haven demand.Expectations for higher rates tend to be bearish for gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise, while a stronger U.S. currency makes gold and other dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for foreign investors.Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver futures settled up 0.96% at $16.10 a troy ounce, for a weekly decline of 2.04%. Platinum settled at $856.90, up 0.2%, bringing the week’s losses to 2.48%.Among base metals, copper was slightly lower at $2.96 in late trade, holding above the six-month low of $2.930 reached on Thursday. Prices fell 2.7% for the week, pressured lower by concerns over slowing economic growth in China, the world’s largest consumer of the metal.
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