PRECIOUS-Gold moves in narrow range as investors await US jobs data


Shafaq News/ Gold prices traded in a tight range on Thursday as some investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of U.S. jobs data that could influence the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy path.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,813.39 per ounce as of 0335 GMT, trading in a $5 range, after hitting its lowest since Feb. 28 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,816.70.

Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, and interest rate hikes to control rising prices make it less attractive. Rate hikes also dim the non-yielding bullion’s appeal.

“The (gold) market has been muted... the market is still trying to digest where the Fed will go after Powell mentioned the final interest rates might be higher than initially expected,” said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore-based dealer GoldSilver Central.

Fed Chair Powell on Wednesday reaffirmed his message of higher and potentially faster interest rate hikes, but emphasized that debate was still underway with a decision hinging on data to be issued before the U.S. central bank’s policy meeting in two weeks.

Following Powell’s remarks, markets are now pricing in a 50-basis point hike at the Fed’s March 21-22 policy meeting.

“Gold traders are waiting for the non-farm payroll report on Friday before we see any major repositioning,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

The U.S. jobs report is expected to show non-farm payrolls increased by 205,000 in February, according to economists polled by Reuters.

Private employment increased by 242,000 jobs last month, according to the ADP National Employment report.

Other data on Wednesday showed U.S. job openings fell less than expected in January, indicating persistently tight labor market conditions.

The dollar index firmed near a three-month high scaled, making bullion less affordable for buyers holding other currencies.

Spot silver was flat at $20.00 per ounce, platinum edged 0.1% lower at $935.89 and palladium lost 0.5% to $1,366.76.

Source: Reuters

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