Tuesday, December 12, 2023

gold: Gold meanders as investors focus on US jobs data

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Gold prices were largely flat in early Asian hours on Friday, as investors looked forward to the U.S. October non-farm payrolls report later in the day for more clues on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate path.FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was almost flat at $1,985.09 per ounce by 0112 GMT and U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,992.40.* Bullion has declined 1% so far in the week after three consecutive weekly gains. Prices rose above the key $2,000-per-ounce level last week on safe-haven demand amid growing unrest in the Middle East.

* In line with market expectations, the Fed held rates steady on Wednesday. Investors stepped up bets that the U.S. central bank may be done with rate hikes, sending the dollar and Treasury yields lower on Thursday.

* Market focus now shifts to U.S. non-farm payrolls data, due at 1230 GMT, which is expected to show that employers added 180,000 jobs last month.

* Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased moderately last week.

* Meanwhile, data showed U.S. private payrolls increased less than expected in October, while the September JOLTS job openings were at 9.55 million against expectations of 9.25 million.

* Markets are pricing in around an 80% chance that the Fed will leave rates unchanged in December, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

* Higher interest rates raise the opportunity cost of holding gold.

* Spot silver slipped 0.3% to $22.68 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1% to $921.02 and palladium climbed 1.5% to $1,116.57.

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