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Gold ends over $1,300, but marks second week in the red

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Gold rose on Friday, rebounding from the previous session's drop to a one-month low, as heightened tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine prompted speculators to buy back their bearish bets ahead of the weekend.

For the week, however, bullion is still set for a one-percent drop, its second consecutive decline, as encouraging recent U.S. economic indicators lessened the metal's safe-haven appeal.

Gold prices climbed as Russia said on Friday the United States was trying to influence international opinion through unfounded insinuations and anti-Russian rhetoric over the crisis in Ukraine, while the Pentagon said the transfer of rocket systems from Russia to Ukrainian separatists appeared to be imminent.

"With the news flow coming out Russia and Ukraine and you don't know what's going to happen in Iraq, traders are buying gold as they don't want to get too exposed to geopolitical risks going into the weekend," said Robert Haworth, senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management's Private Client Reserve.

Spot gold was up 0.7 percent at 1,302 an ounce, after losing nearly 1 percent on Thursday, when it hit its lowest since June 19 at $1,287.46.

U.S. COMEX gold futures for August delivery settled up $12.50 at $1,303.30 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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Weaker U.S. equities dragged by bellwether online retailer Amazon also lifted gold prices.

The market awaited the release of July U.S. non-farm payrolls and the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, both scheduled for next week.

Gold was down 1 percent this week, extending the previous week's two percent fall, mostly on speculation that an improving employment sector in the United States could signal an early rate increase by the Federal Reserve.

--By Reuters. For more information on precious metals, please click here.