Gold Slips as Equities Gain

Prices for gold extended losses on Friday, moving further away from a three-week peak hit in the previous session, as appetite for riskier assets improved on upbeat U.S. economic data, while the metal was still on path for a third straight weekly gain.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,308.26 U.S. per ounce early Friday, after touching its highest since Feb. 28 at $1,320.22 U.S. in the previous session.

The metal has risen 0.5% in price so far this week and is on track for a third consecutive gain on a weekly basis.

U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,307.50 an ounce.

Asian shares advanced on Friday after upbeat data and optimism in the tech sector lifted Wall Street stocks, helping calm some of the jitters sparked by the U.S. Federal Reserve's cautious outlook on the world's biggest economy.

U.S. data showed jobless benefit applications fell more than expected while mid-Atlantic factory activity rebounded.

Britain could leave the European Union without a Brexit deal on April 12 if lawmakers fail next week to back Prime Minister Theresa May's agreement with Brussels, E.U. leaders said after a crisis summit in Brussels on Thursday.

The Bank of England kept interest rates steady on Thursday and said most businesses felt as ready as they could be for a no-deal Brexit that would likely hammer economic growth and jobs.