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Gold prices moved up sharply on Friday on safe-haven appeal following an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions.

Stock prices saw a free fall after a positive start and the greenback drifted lower as traders rushed for the safe-haven asset.

The dollar index slipped to 97.67, losing more than 0.5%.

Gold futures for December ended up $29.10, or 1.9%, at $1,537.60 an ounce, the highest settlement since April 2013.

On Thursday, gold futures for December ended down $7.20, or about 0.5%, at $1,508.50 an ounce, the lowest settlement since August 9. For the week, gold futures gained about 0.9%, moving higher for a fourth straight week.

Silver futures for September ended up $0.373, at $17.413 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.5300 per pound, down $0.0275 from previous close.

China announced tariff hikes on $75 billion of U.S. products and said that import duties on U.S.-made autos and auto parts will also be increased.

U.S. President Trump claimed the U.S. does not need China and would be "far better off without them" and subsequently ordered American companies to "immediately start looking for an alternative to China."

"The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP," Trump tweeted.

The president also indicated that he would respond to the newly announced Chinese tariffs on U.S. imports this afternoon.

The Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium that the central bank will act "as appropriate" to sustain economic expansion and said the global growth outlook has been deteriorating since the middle of last year.

President Trump, seemingly unimpressed by Powell's remarks, tweeted whether the "biggest enemy" of America was Powell or Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly," Trump tweeted.

He added, "We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work 'brilliantly' with both, and the U.S. will do great."

Meanwhile, data released by the Commerce Department Friday said new home sales plunged by 12.8% to an annual rate of 635,000 in July after soaring by 20.9% to a sharply upwardly revised rate of 728,000 in June.

Economists had expected new home sales to come in virtually unchanged from the 646,000 originally reported for the previous month.