Gold prices rose 0.5% to $1,943 an ounce on Friday at around 03:30 AM GMT, amid concerns over global economic recovery from the prolonged COVID-19 crisis after data showed that the US economy shrank at an alarming annual rate of 31.7% in Q2, while over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. Meantime, tensions between Washington and Beijing over the South China sea deepened, with China expelling Thursday a US warship that trespassed into China’s territorial waters in the Xisha Islands around the contested sea. At the same time, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Democrats and Republicans remained far apart over how much to spend on the next virus relief legislation.