Gold price headed for weekly rise, US jobs data in focus

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Gold traded largely unchanged on Friday, heading for a small weekly rise. (Reuters) Gold traded largely unchanged on Friday, heading for a small weekly rise. (Reuters)
SummaryGold traded largely unchanged on Friday, heading for a small weekly rise.

Gold traded largely unchanged on Friday, heading for a small weekly rise as investors await key U.S. employment data to assess the state of recovery in the world's top economy.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold traded little changed at $1,662.15 an ounce by 0037 GMT, on course for a weekly rise of 0.2 percent, paring some losses from the previous week's 1.5-percent slide.

U.S. gold inched up 0.1 percent to $1,662.20.

The U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, due at 1330 GMT, is likely to show that hiring by U.S. employers likely held steady in January. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have risen 160,000 while unemployment rate hold steady at 7.8 percent.

The U.S. labour market report comes one day after a mixed bag of data released on Thursday. Jobless claims rose last week, while American income growth surged in December and a survey showed private sector employment rose faster than expected last month.

China is due to release its official January purchasing managers' index at 0100 GMT, which is expected to show the country's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in nine months.

The CME Group said it will add platinum and palladium options onto its Globex electronic platform beginning late in February in a move to capitalize on growing investor interest in platinum group metals (PGMs).

MARKET NEWS

U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday on caution ahead of Friday's all-important jobs report, but the S&P 500 still posted its best monthly gain since October 2011.

The yen plumbed fresh multi-year lows against its G3 peers on Friday, having posted its biggest monthly decline in 12 years versus the euro as the market positioned for more aggressive easing from the Bank of Japan.

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