Gold eases ahead of key US data

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Gold eased in thin Asian trade Friday, ahead of a key US second quarter GDP data, as the greenback rebounded against the euro.

Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $1167.08 an ounce at 12.00 noon Singapore time while U.S. gold futures for August delivery was at $1,167.1 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , said its holdings were unchanged at 1,282.279 metric tons. The holdings hit a record at 1,320.436 metric tons on June 29.

Analysts said investors awaited the release of U.S. second quarter GDP data for clues on the direction of the economy.

The dollar eked out small gains against the euro in early trade on Friday, but remained on the defensive near a three-month low against a basket of currencies on concerns U.S. growth may be disappointingly weak.

On Thursday, gold futures ended higher for the second straight session. Gold for August delivery rose $8, or 0.7%, to $1,168.40 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

However, the precious yellow metal has slumped 6 per cent in July, the biggest drop since December's 7 per cent decline. Gold futures fell 0.2 per cent in New York

Thinly traded September palladium led gains, rallying $22.45, or 4.8%, to $491.20 an ounce

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