Gold falls below key level of $1,200 ahead of US jobs data

By: | Published: March 10, 2017 8:26 AM

Gold prices dropped below the key level of $1,200 an ounce on Friday to hit their lowest in over five weeks, pressured by a stronger dollar ahead of US jobs data later in the day.

The Fed will raise interest rates next week in response to a series of strong economic data, according to all of more than 100 economists polled by Reuters, with two more hikes likely to follow later this year. (Reuters)

Gold prices dropped below the key level of $1,200 an ounce on Friday to hit their lowest in over five weeks, pressured by a stronger dollar ahead of US jobs data later in the day. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,197.90 per ounce at 0118 GMT, after touching its weakest since Jan. 31 at $1,197.02 earlier in the session. The metal was set for a weekly loss of about 2.8 percent. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,198.10 an ounce. The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 101.94. Investors are waiting for February non-farm payrolls data on Friday as a barometer of the U.S. economy after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the central bank was poised to lift rates provided jobs and inflation data held up. Her comments were seen as cementing plans for an increase at the Fed’s March 14-15 meeting. The ADP National Employment Report showed its biggest increase in over a year in February, suggesting the U.S. economy remains on solid ground.

The Fed will raise interest rates next week in response to a series of strong economic data, according to all of more than 100 economists polled by Reuters, with two more hikes likely to follow later this year. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week rebounded from a near 44-year low, but the labour market continues to tighten amid a sharp drop in job cuts in February. Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.32 percent on Thursday.

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A supply deficit in platinum markets is expected to persist this year, an industry report showed on Thursday, but the shortfall is seen shrinking for a fourth consecutive year as declining investment and jewellery buying outweigh lower supply. The European Central Bank pledged on Thursday to keep its aggressive stimulus policy in place at least until the end of the year, but signaled a diminishing urgency for more policy action, enough to send the euro and bond yields higher.

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