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MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices up in Asia as investors note Japan July CPI, jobs data

MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices up in Asia as investors note Japan July CPI, jobs data

Gold gained in early Asia on Friday as data from Japan pointed to relatively upbeat economic trends in July. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was quoted at $1,126.10, up 0.31% a troy ounce, while silver futures changed hands at $14,500, up 0.58%. Copper futures for September rose 0.67% to $2.340 a pound. In Japan, July national CPI was flat, a better showing than the 0.2% drop seen, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.3% from 3.4%. But household spending eased 0.2%, well below the 1.3% gain expected. Just after those data sets, Japan reported July preliminary retail sales data showed a gain of 1.6%, better than the 1.1% rise seen. Investors now looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due to begin later Thursday. While Fed chair Janet Yellen is not expected to attend, Fed Governor Stanley Fischer is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion about U.S. inflation developments on Saturday. His comments will be closely watched for further hints regarding the strength of the economy and on the timing of a Fed rate hike. Minutes of the central bank’s July meeting published last week showed that Fed officials expressed broad concerns about lagging inflation and the weak global economy. Overnight, gold futures fell to the lowest levels of the session on Thursday, after data showed that the U.S. economy grew more than initially estimated in the second quarter, boosting optimism over the health of the economy and supporting the case for a U.S. interest rate hike this year.

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