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Gold extends recovery as dollar steadies

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[BENGALURU] Gold prices held onto the last session's gains early on Monday, extending a rally from a 17-month low, as the US dollar traded largely steady.

Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at US$1,214.76 an ounce at 0056 GMT, building on its 0.5 per cent gain on Friday. The metal had also hit its lowest since March 2017 at US$1,204 an ounce in the previous session.

US gold futures were little changed at US$1,223.4 an ounce. The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.1 per cent at 95.243.

US job growth slowed more than expected in July as employment in the transportation and utilities sectors fell, but a drop in the unemployment rate suggested that labor market conditions continued to tighten.

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China proposed retaliatory tariffs on US$60 billion worth of US goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft on Friday, as a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to solve their bitter trade conflict.

China's central bank said it would require banks to keep reserves equivalent to 20 per cent of their clients' foreign exchange forwards positions from Monday, in a move to stabilise the yuan currency.

North Korea and the United States on Saturday sparred over an agreement reached at a landmark summit in June for the Asian country to end its nuclear program, as Washington called for maintaining sanctions pressure against Pyongyang, which in turn said it was alarmed by US intentions.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Friday Britain faces an "uncomfortably high" risk of leaving the European Union with no deal, comments that drove sterling to an 11-day low against the dollar.

Business activity in the euro zone lost some momentum at the start of the third quarter, hampered by a drop in new orders that sapped optimism in the private sector, a survey showed on Friday.

Myanmar could export as much as 20 tonnes of gold in 2019 after the Southeast Asian country earlier this year permitted exports of the precious metal for the first time in five decades, a senior industry official said on Saturday.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.26 per cent to 794.90 tonnes on Friday from 796.96 tonnes on Thursday.

Hedge funds and money managers increased their bearish position in COMEX gold contracts to another record in the week to July 31, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

REUTERS