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Gold eases off near 8-year peak after solid U.S. data

July 2 – Gold prices slipped on Thursday, easing from a near eight-year high hit in the previous session, as strong U.S. data and hopes for a potential COVID-19 vaccine dented safe-haven sentiment. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,767.11 per ounce by 0034 GMT, after touching $1,788.96 on Wednesday – its highest since October 2012. * U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,777.30. * Manufacturing activity in the United States rebounded in June, hitting its highest in more than a year, as the broader economy reopened. * Similar surveys from China, Germany and France all pointed to a recovery in factory activity, while the ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private payrolls in June increased by 2.369 million jobs. * A COVID-19 vaccine developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has shown potential and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials. * Optimism over a potential COVID-19 vaccine and better than expected economic readings lifted investors’ appetite for riskier assets. * Focus now shifts to June U.S. employment data due later in the day. * Meanwhile, The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday that would penalise banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement a national security law. * Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas and arrested more than 300 people on Wednesday as protesters took to the streets in defiance of sweeping security legislation introduced by China to snuff out dissent. * Palladium gained 0.3% to $1,909.70 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.2% to $813.94 and silver rose 0.2% to $17.97. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0900 EU Unemployment Rate May 1230 US Non-Farm Payrolls June 1230 US Unemployment Rate June 1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly 1400 US Factory Orders MM May (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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