Gold heads for worst monthly decline since 2016

Gold heads for worst monthly decline since 2016

Shafaq News/ Gold prices held steady on Wednesday as investors were cautious ahead of U.S. jobs data due later this week, but prices were set to post their worst month since November 2016 on the U.S. Federal Reserve's shift to a hawkish policy stance.

Spot gold was steady at $1,761.80 per ounce, as of 1231 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,761.80.

For the month, prices were down 7.6%. For the quarter, gold had risen 3.2%.

 Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on Tuesday said he is "very optimistic" about the economy, and while he declined to say when he thinks the Fed should start raising interest rates, he said it could be next year.

 U.S. consumer confidence jumped to its highest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in June as growing labour market optimism amid a reopening economy offset concerns about higher inflation.

The U.S. Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls data on Friday is expected to show a gain of 690,000 jobs this month, compared with 559,000 in May, according to a Reuters poll.

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, although a Fed rate hike will increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion and dull its appeal.

Silver rose 0.3% to $25.81 per ounce. Palladium gained 0.4% at $2,686.81 and was headed for a fourth straight quarterly gain.

Platinum rose 0.2% to $1,068.96, and was set to post its worst quarter and month since March last year.

Source: Reuters

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