MTECHTIPS-Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday to move further away from their strongest level in seven weeks as investors looked ahead to a key batch of U.S. economic data to gauge how it will impact the Federal Reserve’s view on monetary policy. Comex gold futures for August were at $1,261.11 a troy ounce by 3:10 AM ET (0710 GMT), down $10.60, or about 0.8%. It touched its highest since June 14 at $1,273.30 earlier this week. Prices of the yellow metal ended marginally lower on Wednesday, as a recent rally showed signs of fatigue. Gold has been well-supported in recent weeks as fading expectations for a third Fed rate hike this year combined with deepening political turmoil in the White House boosted the appeal of the precious metal. Investors were turning their attention to upcoming U.S. economic data for fresh clues on the timing of the Fed’s balance sheet reduction and its ability to raise interest rates again this year.