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Gold hits over two-week low as dollar firms ahead of US jobs data

The US gold futures slipped 0.1 per cent to $1,327.70 an ounce

Reuters  |  Bengaluru 

Gold

prices hit over two-week lows on Friday, ahead of the payrolls data later in the day, weighed down by a firmer dollar even as President re-ignited trade war fears by proposing $100 billion in new tariffs on China.

Spot was down 0.2 per cent at $1,324.01 per ounce, as of 0800 GMT, after hitting $1,321.16 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 21.

The futures slipped 0.1 per cent to $1,327.70 an ounce.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six other major currencies, gained 0.1 per cent to 90.519 ahead of the closely watched non-farm payrolls report.

The non-farm payrolls data due on Friday is expected to show that 193,000 jobs will be added, according to a Reuters poll.

"There are the usual precautionary position adjustments in the game ahead of the NFP (non-farm payroll) as a substantial employment number, and wage growth would see the market quickly price in a more aggressive Fed policy (four rate hikes) and push prices lower," said Stephen Innes, head of trading in Asia-Pacific for OANDA in Singapore.

Bullion prices earlier rose to $1,333.28 an ounce on fresh worries.

The focus will be more on the trade war and the data will have a short-term impact on prices, said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

Trump on Thursday said he had instructed trade officials to consider $100 billion in additional tariffs on China, fuelling an already heated trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, President Trump orders Trade Representative to consider $100 (billion) in additional tariffs, confirming the view that trade war rhetoric is unlikely to leave the picture anytime soon," Innes said.

While a holiday in China kept trading volumes thin, investors also awaited comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell due on Friday.

"Regarding Powell, investors will be on the lookout for any cautionary comments regarding potential deleterious impacts from trade war tensions on the macro outlook, thereby impinging on Fed rate hike prospects," OCBC said in a note.

In other precious metals, spot silver dropped 0.2 per cent to $16.31 an ounce.

Platinum slipped 0.6 per cent to $904.50 an ounce, and was on track for a second straight week of losses, down over 2 per cent.

Palladium fell 0.4 per cent to $901.50 an ounce after hitting $898 earlier in the session, its lowest since August 16, 2017. The metal was on track for an eleventh straight session of declines and down over 5 per cent so far this week.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 06 2018. 16:51 IST
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