WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - After seeing initial strength, gold prices pulled back near the unchanged line over the course of the trading session on Friday.
Gold for December delivery ended the day up just $0.60 at $1,505.30 an ounce after reaching an intraday high of $1,520.90 an ounce.
The precious metal's appeal as a safe haven waned after a statement from the U.S. Trade Representative's office said the U.S. and China have made progress toward finalizing a phase one trade deal.
The statement was released by the USTR following a phone call between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
'They made headway on specific issues and the two sides are close to finalizing some sections of the agreement,' the USTR said. 'Discussions will go on continuously at the deputy level, and the principals will have another call in the near future.'
On the U.S. economic front, revised data released by the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment improved by slightly less than initially estimated in the month of October.
The report said the consumer sentiment index for October was downwardly revised to 95.5 from the preliminary reading of 96.0. Economists had expected the index to be unrevised.
Despite the downward revision, the consumer sentiment index for October was still up from the final September reading of 93.2.
'Sentiment was insignificantly below the mid month level, with the small loss spread over most components of the Index,' said Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin.
He added, 'The overall level of consumer confidence has remained quite favorable and largely unchanged during the past few years.'
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