Gold set to post second weekly gain on safe-haven demand…

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Gold held steady on Friday and was poised for a second straight week of gains as persistent fears over the health of the world economy took a toll on global equities and the dollar, bringing in safe-haven bids for the metal.

Platinum and palladium were the biggest precious metal gainers of the day, recovering about 2 per cent from sharp overnight losses.

Platinum rose 1.6 per cent to $1,257.49 an ounce by 0301 GMT. On Thursday, platinum fell below gold prices for the first time since April 2013, before paring some losses to close down 1.3 per cent.

Palladium was up 2 per cent at $749.55, after falling as much as 5 per cent in the previous session.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,237.80 an ounce. The metal is up more than 1.2 per cent for the week after reaching a one-month high of $1,249.30 on Wednesday.

Gold has been getting a boost along with other safe-haven assets such as bonds and the Japanese yen on increasing concerns over the global economy.

Weak data from China and Europe have in particular spooked markets, though US jobs and industrial output data on Thursday was encouraging.

Dollar’s weakness has also supported the precious metals group as the sluggish data stoked worries that the US Federal Reserve could postpone any increase in higher rates. A weak greenback makes dollar-denominated assets less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Asian stocks clawed back some of this week’s losses on Friday after solid US data calmed turbulence in global financial markets, though underlying worries about slowing world economic growth kept investors on edge.

In a sign of higher investor interest, SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.24 per cent to 760.94 tonnes on Thursday.

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