Investing.com - Gold prices eased in Asia on Friday, retracing overnight gains made on concerns about southern European banks.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,337.40 a troy ounce, down 0.13%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,325.40 and off a high of $1,346.10.
The parent company of Portugal''s largest bank, Banco Espírito Santo, said it missed payments on commercial paper to a few clients, which spooked markets by fueling concerns surrounding the soundness of the banking sectors in Portugal as well as in Spain and Italy.
Gold rose on safe-haven demand while, weak euro zone factory data further bolstered the precious metal''s appeal.
Italy''s industrial output unexpectedly fell 1.2% in May from April, defying expectations for a 0.2% expansion, while French industrial production plunged 1.7% in May, also confounding expectations for a 0.2% gain.
Meanwhile in the U.S., solid jobless claims numbers supported the greenback, which tends to trade inversely with the yellow metal, the European concerns offset the data due to Fed expectations
The U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 5 declined by 11,000 to 304,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 315,000 last week.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its June policy meeting in which monetary authorities forecast bond purchases should conclude in October.
Silver for September delivery fell 0.07% at $21.493 a troy ounce. Copper futures for September delivery rose 0.09% at $3.273 a pound.