Gold, silver and platinum are set to end the second straight week lower as risk appetite returned to the market while investors keep a watch of the ongoing Ukraine crisis and the Middle East conflicts. Palladium is also down this week, after touching a new multi-year high in the previous week.
Upbeat manufacturing PMI data from China and the eurozone has strengthened risk appetite generally, helping the Nikkei 225 futures trade 0.88% higher so far in the week and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.85%.
China's July HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to 52.0 from 50.7 in June while analysts had been expecting 51.0. Germany's Markit manufacturing PMI edged higher to 52.9 in July from 52.0, topping market consensus of a steady reading. A PMI above 50 shows expansion.
In addition, US initial jobless claims fell to 284,000 in the week to 18 July from 303,000 in the previous week, while the market had forecast an increase to 308,000, data showed.
While data helped ease investors' worries over geopolitical risks which were heightened recently by the shooting down of the Malaysian jet MH17 in Ukraine by Russia-backed rebels, they still keep a close watch of the situation.
US authorities have said America and Canada will oppose World Bank projects in Russia, further increasing the economic pressure on it.
World Bank-funded investment projects in Russia are currently worth $668m, but only less than half of it has been disbursed, the bank says. In addition, there are nine projects in the pipeline worth a total of $1.34bn.
Meanwhile, airlines are unwilling to land in Israeli airports, given the severity of the unrest there, further dampening the global risk sentiment.
Both gold and silver had touched near four-month highs in the week to 11 July while palladium had a retest of its 10-month high touched in the previous week, before losing ground in the week to 18 July.
On 25 July morning in Europe, the yellow metal is down 3.5% over the past two weeks and silver is 4.7% weaker. Platinum has fallen 3% over the same period, while palladium, which traded higher in the past week, has declined 1.05% so far this week.
On Friday morning, silver was at $20.42 and gold at $1292.60, both slightly off the one-month lows touched recently. Platinum was at $1465.0 and palladium at $869.50.