ALSO READGold rises from 10-month lows but heading for fourth consecutive weekly drop Gold little changed; set for fifth straight weekly drop Gold hits 10-month low after biggest monthly drop in three years Gold hits 10-month low after biggest monthly drop in 3 years Gold slips, heads for worst weekly drop since Nov. 2015
By Apeksha Nair
REUTERS - Gold recovered from its lowest since early February on Friday as the dollar drifted lower ahead of U.S. jobs data, but is still on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,173.59 an ounce by 0612 GMT. The metal fell to its lowest since Feb. 5 at $1,160.38 in the previous session.
For the week, gold was trading down 0.8 percent.
U.S. gold futures gained 0.5 percent at $1,175.30 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 about 0.3 percent on Friday to 100.770 as investors remained wary ahead of U.S. payrolls data due later in the day.
"Most market participants are awaiting the crucial non-farm payrolls (NFP) data due today. A positive outcome could mean the Federal Reserve can raise interest rates in the next meet," said Hareesh V, Research Head at Geofin Comtrade Ltd.
The dollar has scaled back from near 14-year highs of 102.05 hit on Nov. 24 on the back of a surge in U.S. Treasury yields triggered by expectations of higher fiscal impulse and faster pace of monetary tightening under president-elect Donald Trump.
Several Fed policymakers have since expressed confidence in the U.S. 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 percent to 870.22 tonnes on Thursday. Holdings have fallen over 6 percent 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 mostly unchanged at $16.52 an ounce.
Platinum slid 0.1 percent at $909.50 but was on track to rise for the first time in 4 weeks.
Palladium rose 0.3 percent at $752.65 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.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sunil Nair)
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)