Gold prices climbed higher on Friday on safe-haven appeal after riskier assets such as equities tumbled after data showed sharp contraction in manufacturing activity in the U.S. and U.K.
Stocks were also hit due to renewed worries about a trade war after the U.S. President Donald Trump threatened fresh tariffs on China.
The dollar’s recovery from lower levels limited gold’s uptick. The dollar index, which had slipped to 98.78 around mid-morning, later rose to 99.05, up slightly from previous close.
Gold futures for June ended up $6.70, or about 0.4%, at $1,700.90 an ounce, snapping a five-day losing streak. Gold futures shed about 2% in the week. Gold futures tumbled to a low of $1,676.00 in the Asian session.
Silver futures for July ended down $0.035 at $14.938 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled lower by $0.0320 at $2.3120 per pound.
President Trump said on Thursday that his administration is crafting retaliatory measures over the origin of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept through the U.S. and crippled its economy. He added that the first phase of a multi-billion dollar trade bill the two countries signed in January is now of secondary importance.
A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed U.S. manufacturing activity continued to contract in the month of April. The ISM said its purchasing managers index slumped to 41.5 in April from 49.1 in March, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in manufacturing activity.
The manufacturing index showed a notable decrease compared to the previous month but still came in above economist estimates for a reading of 36.9.
With the decline, the purchasing managers index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 39.9 in April of 2009.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Commerce Department showed an unexpected 0.9% increase in construction spending in the month of March, after tumbling by 2.5% to a revised $1.348 trillion in February.
The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected construction spending to plunge by 3.5% compared to the 1.3% slump originally reported for the previous month.