Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose Friday on downbeat economic figures, ending the week with a gain of 4.5 percent. The most active gold contract for December delivery gained 10.1 dollars, or 0.74 percent, to settle at 1,371 dollars per ounce. U.S. Commerce Department estimated Friday that construction on new U.S. homes rose 5.9 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000, lower than market expectations of 915,000; the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment fell to 80.0 in August, down from 85.1 in July. Nevertheless, the U.S. Labor Department estimated that the productivity of the U.S. non-farm business sector accelerated to 0. 9 percent on an annual basis in the second quarter following two quarters of declines, curbing the growth of gold prices somehow. Historically, gold always moves upward in August, market analysts hold. Reports show that hedge funds John Paulson and George Soros cut their holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust at the end of the second quarter. Gold holdings of SPDR Gold Trust stood at 912.92 tonnes Thursday, down about 26 tonnes from July 11. Silver for September delivery rose 38.7 cents, or 1.69 percent, to close at 23.322 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery dropped 4.7 dollar, or 0.31 percent, to close at 1,527.6 dollars per ounce.