SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold prices gained in Asian trade Friday mainly on a weak dollar while fragile US and China economic growth data boosted its appeal as an alternative asset.
Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $ 1208.87 an ounce at 12.00 noon Singapore time while U.S. gold futures for August delivery were at $1,209.30 per ounce.
The greenback remained lower in early Asian trade after slid to a nine-week low against the euro yesterday. The Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the dollar's value, was headed for a sixth weekly fall.
Gold has been stuck in a $100 range between $1,165 and $1,265 since the start of May, with the band narrowing further to $30, between $1,190 and $1,220, over the past two weeks.
The market has drawn support from euro zone sovereign debt problems, concerns about the U.S. and global economy and investors' generally cautious stance toward risk-taking, all of which highlighted bullion's appeal as a hedge against risks and an alternative currency.
Meanwhile, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust said holdings eased to 1,314.211 tones as of Thursday, down 0.608 tones from the previous business day.
On Thursday, gold recovered from earlier losses, closing higher as the latest read on the U.S. economy painted a gloomier picture, sending assets such as stocks lower and investors scrambling toward those regarded as safer.
Gold for August delivery closed $1.30, or 0.1% higher, at $1,208.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver for September delivery added 7 cents, or 0.4%, to $18.36 an ounce.
September copper ended the day flat at $3.01 a pound. October platinum ended $13.10, or 0.9%, higher at $1533.7 an ounce, while September palladium gained $1.40, or 0.3%, to $467.20 an ounce.