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Gold prices edged lower on Monday, extending last week's sharp correction as the dollar firmed, but moves were muted ahead of a European Union summit later in the week and further economic data from the U.S.
The metal ended the last session in its worst weekly performance since May, down 3.5 percent after the U.S. authorities disappointed gold bulls by failing to launch more aggressive monetary policy measures, like quantitative easing .
Further easing would maintain pressure on long-term interest rates, keeping the opportunity cost of holding gold at rock bottom, and weigh on the dollar. Investors are still waiting to see whether poor U.S. data will yet force the Fed to act.
Next week's June U.S. nonfarm payrolls report is likely to be central to this, he said. An extremely poor report for May was the catalyst for gold's last rally above $1,600 an ounce.
Prior to that, markets are focused on this week's European summit meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
European leaders will discuss specific steps towards a cross-border banking union, closer fiscal integration and the possibility of a debt redemption fund, according to a document prepared for the meeting.
But muted expectations for the summit, together with concerns over global economic growth, prompted investors to scale back exposure to riskier assets on Monday.
The June gold futures on the COMEX is now worth 1572.90 dollars per ounce.
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