WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Gold futures closed higher for a second straight day Friday, on some positive economic data from the U.S. and Europe, despite a strengthening dollar. The greenback surged to its highest since 2010, while the euro traded at a 22-month low. Nonetheless, investors continued to be wary of the eurozone debt crisis, with continued focus on Greece. Gold prices shed about 1.2 percent for the week.
Gold prices were also helped by increased demands from central banks of many countries. Data released by the International Monetary Fund revealed several central banks were keen on lifting their gold holdings. Turkey raised its reserves by 29.7 metric tonnes, while Ukraine, Mexico and Kazakhstan also increased their holdings, the IMF data showed.
Gold for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $11.40 or 0.7 percent to close at $1,568.90 an ounce Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold traded at an intraday high of $1,577.70 an ounce and a low of $1,551.90 an ounce.
Yesterday, gold snapped its three-session losing streak to end higher on some encouraging economic data from the U.S., higher commodity prices and reports that Europe will strive to keep Greece within the euro region.
Earlier this morning, the U.S. dollar traded at a two-year high versus the euro and around a two-month high against sterling. The buck, however, moved lower against the yen and the Swiss franc.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, was trading at its highest since 2010. The greenback traded at 82.394 on Friday, up from 82.342 in North American trade late Thursday. The dollar scaled a high of 82.46 intraday and a low of 81.99.
The euro traded lower at a 22-month low against the dollar at $1.2522 on Friday, as compared to $1.2539 late Thursday. The euro scaled a high of $1.2602 intraday and a low of 1.2498.
In economic news, a report by Reuters and the University of Michigan showed the U.S. consumer sentiment index for May was upwardly revised to 79.3 from the mid-month reading of 77.8. The upward revision surprised economists, who had expected the index to come in unchanged.
From the eurozone, confidence among German consumers is set to remain stable in June, as the country's vibrant labor market and export gains shielded the economy from the turbulent economic conditions in the rest of eurozone. The consumer confidence index for June was at 5.7, unchanged from the revised reading of May. The May score was revised from 5.6 reported previously.
Nonetheless, the GfK report contradicts an Ifo Institute business confidence survey on Thursday, which points to a marked decline in business optimism amid tensions surrounding a possible Greek exit from the eurozone. Ifo observed the increasing uncertainty in the eurozone to have impacted the German economy.
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