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Sep 07, 2012, 10.38 AM IST
Gold edged lower on Friday after rising to a near six-month high in the previous session driven by the European Central Bank unveiling a potentially unlimited bond-buying programme in its latest effort to contain the region's debt crisis.
Data showing improvement in the US labour market, however, weighed on the market ahead of the release of a key employment report later on Friday.
* Spot gold lost 0.3% to USD 1,695.89 an ounce by 0037 GMT, off USD 1,712.91 hit on Thursday, its highest since March 12. Bullion is on course for a third week of gains.
* U.S. gold fell 0.4% to USD 1,698.60.
* The ECB agreed on Thursday to launch a new and potentially unlimited bond-buying programme to lower struggling euro zone countries' borrowing costs and draw a line under the debt crisis.
* The latest data showed improvement in the US labour market, a day before the release of the all-important non-farm payrolls data which is expected to shed light on whether the Federal Reserve will launch another round of quantitative easing.
* South Africa's platinum sector remains on tenterhooks, as the militant AMCU union refused to sign a "peace deal" with platinum company Lonmin, undermining government-backed efforts to open pay talks and end a four-week strike scarred by deadly violence.
* Holdings of gold-backed exchange-traded funds hit a record high of 72.1 million ounces, or 2,044 tonnes, by Thursday.
* Spot silver and platinum held near multi-month highs hit in the previous session. Spot silver inched down 0.4% to USD 32.50, after rising to as high as USD 32.98 on Thursday. Spot platinum lost half a percent to USD 1,567.50, after hitting USD 1,589, its highest since mid-April.
* The euro and commodity currencies like the Australian dollar held onto gains in Asia on Friday, while the safe-haven yen nursed heavy losses as markets cheered the European Central Bank's plan to tackle the region's debt crisis.
* US stocks closed at multi-year highs on Thursday, with the S&P 500 ending at its highest level since before the collapse of Lehman Brothers as investors hailed a new European bond-buying program aimed at stemming the region's debt crisis.
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