Gold rises from 10-month lows, heads for fourth consecutive weekly drop

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,173.76 an ounce by 0248 GMT, the yellow metal fell to its lowest since 5 February at $1,160.38 in the previous session


Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Gold recovered from its lowest since early February on Friday as the dollar drifted lower ahead of US jobs data, but the metal is still on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,173.76 an ounce by 0248 GMT. The metal fell to its lowest since 5 February at $1,160.38 in the previous session.

For the week, gold was trading down 0.7%.

US gold futures gained 0.5% at $1,175.60 per ounce.

“These movements in gold can be tied to the dollar,” said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

“There is a bit of buying in the physical side, but that has not been really aggressive.”

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.2% on Friday to 100.850 as investors remained wary ahead of US payrolls data due later in the day.

The dollar has scaled back from near 14-year highs of 102.05 hit on 24 November on the back of a surge in US Treasury yields triggered by expectations of higher fiscal impulse and faster pace of monetary tightening under president-elect Donald Trump.

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Several Federal Reserve policymakers have since expressed confidence in the US economy and signalled a possible near-term interest rate hike.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar.

“People are rushing to the stock market rather than the gold markets. That is evident in the liquidation we are seeing in the exchange traded funds (ETFs),” Leung of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers added.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 1.54% to 870.22 tonnes on Thursday. Holdings have fallen over 6% last month.

Spot gold may bounce moderately into a range of $1,184 to $1,194 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Silver was 0.3% higher at $16.56 an ounce and platinum was up 0.4% at $914.35.

Both metals were on track for a first weekly rise in four weeks.

Palladium gained 0.6% at $754.65 an ounce after scaling its highest level since June 2015 at $774.60 in the previous session. It was set to rise for a fifth straight week. Reuters

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