- Gold futures fell on Friday after data revealed the U.S. economy saw an uptick in new job creation in May, though a European Central Bank decision to loosen policy on Thursday cushioned the yellow metal''s losses.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at 1,252.20 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 0.09%, up from a session low of $1,246.10 and off a high of $1,257.60.

The August contract settled up 0.72% at $1,253.30 on Thursday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,241.20 a troy ounce, Thursday''s low, and resistance at $1,257.90, Thursday''s high.

The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier that the economy added 217,000 in May, close to expectations for a 218,000 increase, after a 282,000 rise in April, whose figure was revised down from a previously estimated 288,000 gain.

The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations for a 210,000 gain, which drew market applause and firmed the dollar, which tends to trade inversely with gold.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3% last month compared to expectations for a rise to 6.4%.

The data, viewed by markets as not exceptionally robust, was still strong enough to keep expectations firm for the Federal Reserve to continue winding down its monthly bond-buying program, which weakens the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates.

Gold, the beneficiary of past and present round of Fed easing, dipped on the news as the dollar firmed.

The euro, meanwhile, continued to come under pressure after the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate on Thursday to a record-low 0.15% from 0.25%, cut its deposit rate to -0.1% and said it will support the banking sector to spur lending via targeted long-term credit injections.

The ECB move to loosen policy sent enough investors to gold as a hedge to a weaker euro to support the precious metal against the dollar.

Meanwhile, silver for July delivery was down 0.45% at $18.998 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were down 1.09% at $3.057 a pound.

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