Gold prices held steady on Friday on a weaker dollar, heading for their fourth weekly gain, with investors awaiting Donald Trump’s first steps as president after he takes office later in the day. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,205.43 per ounce by 0123 GMT. US gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,205.20 per ounce. Better-than-expected jobs and housing data reinforced the view that the U.S. economy is sufficiently robust to warrant rate rises, turning back recent falls for the dollar and pushing 10-year bond yields to their highest since Jan. 3. MKTS/GLOB] One day before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was set to be sworn in, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, an influential policymaker, said that while there was uncertainty over the economic outlook, it was no more pronounced than usual.
Investors were looking ahead to the inauguration on Friday of President-elect Donald Trump, who has mixed promises of tax cuts and infrastructure spending with protectionist statements that have increased demand for gold as a safe haven. The European Central Bank stuck to its super-easy monetary policy on Thursday, telling those calling for a tightening – like economic powerhouse Germany – to be patient as the bloc slowly regains its economic health. Japanese manufacturers’ morale rose for a fifth straight month in January to a 2-1/2 year high and the service sector’s mood jumped to its highest levels since mid-2015, a Reuters poll showed, thanks to a weak yen and buoyant share prices. AngloGold Ashanti is in talks with unions to lay off more than 800 workers at its South African operations, a document obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday, after years of declines in output in the country due to regulatory issues. The number of miners killed in South Africa’s mines fell in 2016 to a new record low of 73 from 77 in 2015 thanks to a government drive to improve practices, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said on Thursday.