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Rate Hope Spurs Second Weekly Gain for Gold

Gold prices were set to post a second consecutive weekly gain on Friday as recent softer U.S. economic data kept traders optimistic for interest rate cuts later this year, with other precious metals also heading for a weekly gain.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $2,363.06 U.S. per ounce Friday, after hitting a two-week high earlier in the session. Bullion has gained more than 1% so far in the week, adding to the 1.7% increase last week.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $2,376.70 on the day.

Data on Thursday showed first-time applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell moderately last week, while new housing construction dropped. This, along with tepid retail sales last month, keeps the chance of a September rate cut on the table.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Meanwhile, China’s yuan dipped to a fresh seven-month low against the dollar.