Gold closed slightly lower on Friday, adding to its recent decline. The precious metal's hedge value took a hit from some strong manufacturing and consumer sentiment data that boosted hopes of an economic recovery.
June-stamped gold futures fell to $888.20 per ounce, a drop of $3 on the session. The modest drop added to yesterday's decline when the metal slipped back below the $900 a barrel mark.
The precious metal closed the week down $25.90 per ounce. Gold had rallied $41.50 last week, gaining in four of five sessions.
The dollar extended its recent gains versus the yen but struggled in quiet trade against its European counterparts Friday. Activity was light, with many markets around the world closed for May Day. Gold often moves in the opposite direction of the dollar because of the precious metal's hedge appeal.
On the economic front, the University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index rose to 65.1 in April from a previously reported reading of 61.9. The index was unexpected to be unrevised.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of activity in the sector rose to 40.1 in April from 36.3 in March, although a reading below 50 indicates a continued contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a reading of 38.4.
Also, the U.S. Commerce Department said factory orders slipped 0.9 percent for March, reversing some of the previous month's rebound. February saw a revised increase of 0.7 percent after an orders drop of 3.5 percent in January.
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