Gold prices crawl up, shaky US jobs data supports
The unemployment rate remained at a lofty 7.8 percent in December, even though U.S. employers kept their pace of hiring steady, suggesting fragile improvement in the labour market.
Gold dropped to a more than four-month low of $1,625.79 on Friday, after minutes from the Fed's last meeting showed officials were increasingly concerned about the impact of quantitative easing on financial markets.
That spooked gold investors who had expected the central bank to keep pumping cash into the market - a key driver behind the metal's twelfth year of gains in 2012.
"There is still hope for gold," said a Sydney-based trader. "I'm much less sanguine about the state of the U.S. economy, as some of the leading indicators are suggestive of a slowdown in U.S. payrolls growth and a stalling in the drop in the
The Fed will have to maintain its monetary stimulus as a result, he said, helping gold remain attractive to investors worried about that rampant cash printing by the central bank could debase paper money and fuel inflation.
Spot gold had inched up 0.3 percent to $1,661.54 an ounce by 0246 GMT, after falling for two sessions straight and ending last week little changed.
U.S. gold gained 0.8 percent to $1,662.10.
Technical analysis was less
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