Gold was steady in early trade on Friday but was headed for its first weekly drop in four weeks as a string of U.S. data showed more strength in the recovery of the world’s largest economy.
Spot gold was flat at $1,242.71 an ounce by 0024 GMT, and was heading for a 0.3 percent drop for the week. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for the second consecutive week last week, suggesting a sharp step-down in job growth in December was likely to be temporary.
The better labor market tone was also captured by a survey on Thursday showing an acceleration in manufacturing activity in the Mid-Atlantic region, accompanied by a rise in factory jobs.
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