Gold edged up on Friday as stock markets paused after rally, but the metal was still on track for its worst weekly decline in a month as investors cut exposure to bullion, sending holdings in exchange-traded funds to the lowest in four years.
Spot gold was up 0.17 percent to $1,388.11 an ounce by 0038 GMT, having fallen to a four-week low of $1,369.29 on Thursday as renewed liquidation in gold ETFs and the recent drop below the $1,400-per-ounce level spooked investors.
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U.S. gold for June delivery was little changed at $1,386.70.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.55 percent to 1041.42 tonnes on Thursday – the lowest in four years.
Premiums for gold bars rallied to all-time highs in Hong Kong and Singapore on Thursday after bullion’s steepest drop since its April sell-off fueled another round of buying that constricted supply.
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Gold investment nearly halved in the first quarter as a brighter view of the U.S. economy prompted investors in the West to favor other assets, but Chinese coin and bar demand hit a quarterly record of 109.5 tonnes, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
Indian gold futures fell 1.5 percent on Thursday, extending losses for a second straight session, to hit their lowest level in nearly a month in line with global markets.
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The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch after-hours trading for Fridays on May 31 as part of its efforts to help its members better manage price risks, the bourse said in a statement on Thursday.