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Gold prices flat as rate hike worries ease


By Soreng

(Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Monday as the U.S. dollar inched lower, with the latest U.S. jobs report easing fears of inflation and faster U.S. rate hikes.

Spot gold was flat at $1,323.07 per ounce at 0315 GMT. U.S. gold futures for April delivery were little changed at $1,323.70 per ounce.

The dollar index against a basket of currencies was down 0.1 percent at 90.038.

"The labour report that we saw in the U.S. on Friday has spilled over into this week ... Slowdown in the growth of wages last month has certainly eased concerns about more aggressive rate hikes," said

Inflation worries faded after U.S. data on Friday showed nonfarm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, but annual growth in average hourly earnings slowed to 2.6 percent after a spike in January.

Money market traders stuck to bets that the would raise interest rates three times this year, with only around a one-in-four chance seen for a fourth rate hike in 2018.

A relief rally swept across Asian share markets on Monday in the wake of the jobs report.

Inflation concerns generally boost gold, which is seen as a safe-haven against rising prices. But expectations the Fed could raise interest rates to fight inflation make gold less attractive because it is not interest-yielding.

"We still are somewhat wary on gold short-term as we suspect that the will struggle on account of a stronger dollar, which we expect to start perking up as we head closer to the (next) Fed meeting," said in a note. The central is due to meet from March 20.

Spot gold may revisit its March 9 low of $1,312.99 per ounce, as suggested by a double-top and a retracement analysis, according to

Meanwhile, speculators raised their net long position in gold by 4,178 contracts to 161,812 contracts, (CFTC) data showed.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.1 percent to $16.58 per ounce.

Palladium was down 0.1 percent at $994.72 per ounce, while platinum was flat at $964.50 per ounce.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Joseph Radford)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 10:45 IST