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Gold ends lower on strong US data; logs weekly loss

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Gold prices settled lower on Friday, logging a modest weekly loss, as the dollar firmed and investors squared positions before the weekend.

"Gold has been trapped in a very compressed range for well over a month, but we suspect that we could see a substantial move in the days ahead once the Ukrainian elections are over," INTL FCStone said in a note.

Lessening tensions in Ukraine weighed on gold, seen as a safe-haven asset. The metal has been buoyed by the crisis between the West and Russia, gaining about 7 percent this year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he wanted better ties with the West. His deputy defense minister said Russia would pull back all forces deployed to regions near its border with Ukraine "within a few days", a move that could ease tensions before Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled $3.30 lower at $1,291.70 an ounce, down 0.1 percent on the week. Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,292 an ounce.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
GOLD
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GOLD/USD
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SILV/USD
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SILVER
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PALL/USD
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PLAT/USD
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On the physical side, premiums in top buyer China remained steady at about $2 an ounce.

Meanwhile, Palladium shed 0.7 percent to $826 an ounce as the dollar gained against the euro, making dollar-priced commodities more expensive for Europeans.

The euro dropped to a three-month low against the dollar after a soft German business sentiment survey added to expectations the European Central Bank would ease policy next month.

The dollar hit a six-week high against a basket of currencies in the wake of upbeat U.S. data.

Palladium's weakness, however, was seen as only a pause in a rally that has pushed it up 16 percent this year on worries about the impact of the miners' strike in South Africa. It touched $837.40 an ounce in the previous session - its highest since August 2011.

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Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
IMP
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INTL
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Gold
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PALL/USD
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USD INDEX
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GOLD/USD
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GOLD
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