Gold prices held steady on Friday, as investors awaited the release of highly-anticipated U.S. employment data due later in the day, although recent data and ongoing political tensions in the U.S. continued to weigh on the greenback
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery were down steady at $1,268.66, very close to Tuesday’s seven-week highs of $1.273,30.
Investors were now looking ahead to the nonfarm payrolls report for July, due later Friday, to gauge whether the U.S. economy is strong enough for the Fed to stick to its planned tightening path.
Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) on Friday said it posted a profit in the first half of 2017 following a 2 billion pound ($2.65 billion) loss in the same period last year amid hefty restructuring and legal costs.
RBS, which has not made an annual profit since 2007, made 939 million pounds in pretax profit in the six months to end-June. The bank was rescued in a 45.5 billion pound taxpayer bailout at the height of the financial crisis
RBS said it is in discussions with the Dutch central bank to use its license in the Netherlands to conduct its trading business there following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Toyota Motor Corp (T:7203) and Mazda Motor Corp (T:7261) plan to build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant, the two said on Friday, as part of an alliance that will also see the Japanese automakers jointly develop electric vehicle technologies.
The two will take small stakes in each other as part of the tie-up: Toyota, the world’s second-largest automaker by vehicle sales last year, will take a 5 percent share of Mazda, extending its dominance in Japan’s auto sector. Mazda will take a 0.25 percent share of its larger rival.
The plant, something of a surprise at a time of overcapacity in the U.S. market, will be a boost to U.S. President Donald Trump, who campaigned on promises to increase manufacturing and expand employment for American autoworkers.
The plant will be capable of producing 300,000 vehicles a year, with production divided between the two automakers, and employ about 4,000 people. It will start operating in 2021.
By Naomi Tajitsu