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Gold slides towards $1,150/oz as dollar strengthens

gold bars.jpg
AP

Gold slid 1 percent on Friday to test chart support at $1,150 an ounce on Friday as a stronger dollar and upbeat U.S. data undermined prices, though physical metal demand lent support.

Gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit, was hurt by the dollar's rally to a seven-year high versus the yen, which pushed it up 0.25 percent against a basket of currencies

Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at $1,153.57 an ounce at 1033 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were down $8.30 an ounce at $1,153.20.

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Gold has struggled to recover from last week's 4-1/2-year low of $1,131.85. Earlier on Friday it hit a low of $1,149.56 an ounce, before taking support from physical demand, which tends to rise in a lower price environment.

"There is some pressure that seems to be dollar related," Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at MKS, said. "(But) demand for physical is not bad."

"Premiums are rising, which generally speaking is a good indication that there is a shortage of material in the market. But having said that, we're still stuck in a range."

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Gold, set to fall for a third week in four, has suffered from perceptions that the U.S. recovery is outpacing that of other economies.

That has led to bets that U.S. interest rates will rise faster than others. Rising rates weigh on gold as they lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets.

Holdings of the world's top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, fell 2 tonnes on Thursday, an eighth straight day of outflows, to a six-year low of 720.62 tonnes.

Buying interest in Asia picked up this week, though Japanese consumers sold gold jewellery and bars as yen-priced bullion hit three-month highs.

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Silver was down 1.4 percent at $15.39 an ounce, while spot palladium was down 0.2 percent at $764.30 an ounce.

Spot platinum was flat at $1,192.55 an ounce, having earlier touched a five-year low at $1,179.50.