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Gold was down on Friday morning in Asia. However, the yellow metal remained near a two-week high and is set to end the week with its biggest weekly gains since May 21 over signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve is unlikely to begin asset tapering and hike interest rates in the short term.

Gold futures edge down 0.12% to $1,829 by 11:50 PM ET (3:50 AM GMT), after hitting its highest level since Jul. 15 on Thursday. The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, edged up on Friday but remained near the one-month low hit during the previous session. Investors continue to digest the Fed’s comment that the labor market still had “some ground to cover” before beginning asset tapering as it handed down its policy decision on Wednesday.

Thursday’s initial jobless claims data supported the Fed’s stance, as 400,000 claims were filed over the past week. The figure was higher than the 380,000 claims in forecasts prepared by Investing.com but lower than the 424,000 claims filed during the previous week.

Additional data released on Thursday said the U.S. GDP grew 6.5% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2021. Although solid, the growth was lower than both the 8.5% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 6.3% growth recorded for the first quarter.

In Asia Pacific, Japanese jobs data released earlier in the day said that the jobs/applications ratio for June was higher than expected at 1.13, while the unemployment rate was a lower-than-expected 2.9%. The country’s retail sales also plunged to 0.1% year-on-year in June.

Down Under, the Australian producer price index grew 2.2% year-on-year and 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the second half of 2021.

Meanwhile, SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) holdings rose 0.6% to 1,031.46 tons on Thursday, marking the first inflow in about a month.

Thursday’s Reuters poll said prices are expected to average a little above their current level of $1,830 for the remainder of 2021. They will begin to edge lower in 2022 as the global economy recovers from COVID-19 and central banks begin to tighten monetary policy.

A separate poll said investors have revised their forecasts for palladium upwards, as a chronic shortage of the metal will keep prices close to record levels.

Palladium rose 0.4%, while silver was down 0.3% and platinum fell 0.7%.

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