SINGAPORE, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Gold climbed more than 1 percent on Monday to its highest in nearly two weeks on soft U.S. data and as holdings in the world’s biggest gold exchange-traded fund rose for the first time in two months.
Spot gold had gained 1 percent to $1,328.91 an ounce by 0010 GMT, after advancing 0.2 percent on Friday as a weaker stock market increased its safe-haven appeal. U.S. gold added $16 to trade at $1,328.50. Comex silver rose 2 percent. SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.2 percent to 911.13 tonnes on Friday – the first increase since June 10.
U.S. wholesale inventories unexpectedly fell for a second straight month in June, prompting economists to trim their second-quarter economic growth estimates. Investors are watching economic data to gauge when the Federal Reserve bank will begin reducing its commodities-friendly stimulus measures. Weak data could prompt the U.S. central bank to hold back on the cuts.
Wall Street closed out its worst week since June on Friday, pulling back from record highs as investors focused on the outlook for Fed stimulus. Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in gold and silver in the week to Aug. 6, a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.
Newcrest Mining, the world’s fifth largest gold producer, reported its first annual loss since 2002 on Monday, hit by writedowns after gold prices plunged.
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi)