April 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Thursday touched their lowest
this year, and were on course for a fourth straight weekly decline, as
recent economic data drove investors towards riskier assets, with
traders eyeing clues to gauge the health of global economy.
* Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,272.33 per ounce, as of
0147 GMT, having touched $1,271.71 earlier in the session, its lowest
since Dec. 27, 2018.
* U.S. gold futures dipped 0.2 percent lower to $1,274.50 an ounce.
* Economic data from China tempered concerns about global growth
and took the sheen off safe-haven bullion.
* Investors' immediate focus turned to the release of Purchasing
Managers Indexes (PMIs) for the manufacturing and service sectors in
Europe later in the day to provide more clues on the strength of the
euro zone economy.
* Asian shares edged up to a nine-month high with the Good Friday
and Easter holidays keeping investors on the sidelines.
* The euro was buoyant on Thursday after more evidence of strength
in China improved the outlook for the global economy, with the market
looking next to European indicators to provide the currency with a
* China's economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first
quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial
production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of
* The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it found economic
activity in the country grew at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and
* The U.S. trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as
imports from China plunged, temporarily providing a boost to President
Donald Trump's "America First" agenda and economic growth in
the first quarter.
* Japanese manufacturing activity contracted at a slightly slower
pace in April due to a pick-up in hiring, but new export orders fell
at the fastest pace in almost three years in a sign slow global demand
remains a major pressure point for the economy.
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, edged up 0.08 percent to 752.86 tonnes on
Wednesday from 752.27 tonnes on Tuesday, still around their lowest
levels since Oct. 27.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
* 0715 France Markit Mfg Flash PMI April
* 0730 Germany Markit Mfg Flash PMI April
* 0800 EU Markit Mfg Flash PMI April
* 0800 EU Markit Serv Flash PMI April
* 0800 EU Markit Comp Flash PMI April
* 0830 UK Retail Sales MM March
* 0830 UK Retail Sales Ex-Fuel MM March
* 0830 UK Retail Sales YY March
* 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly
* 1230 U.S. Retail Sales MM March
(Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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Outside U.S. +91 8067495254; Reuters Messaging: Arijit.Bose.email@example.com))