Gold prices eased in Asia on Monday at the start of a week that could see the Federal Reserve raise interest rates at a time of mixed economic fortunes for growth in China.

In China at the weekend, data showed fixed asset investment rose 10.9%, just below the 11% seen, while industrial production gained 6.1%, below the 6.4% expected and retail sales rose 10.8%, above the 10.5% seen.

Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.20% to $1,105.70 a troy ounce, while silver futures for December delivery declined 0.38% to $14.530 a troy ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for December delivery dropped 0.48% to $2.446 a pound.

For the week, copper prices surged 13.6 cents, or 6.12%, as a fresh batch of disappointing Chinese economic data reinforced views that policymakers in Beijing will have to roll out more support measures for the world’s second largest economy.

© Reuters.  Gold  weaker in Asia after China data

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

Last week, gold ended weaker as investors remained mixed over whether the U.S. central bank will hike rates at its meeting next Wednesday and Thursday.

Some traders believe the Fed could postpone raising interest rates this month, as officials are likely to remain concerned over volatility in financial markets due to fears over a China-led global economic slowdown.

Gold fell to a five-and-a-half year low of $1,072.30 on July 24 amid speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the first time since 2006 at some point this year.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

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