PRECIOUS-Gold drifts lower in run-up to US payrolls data

PRECIOUS-Gold drifts lower in run-up to US payrolls data

Shafaq News/ Gold prices eased on Friday as investors keenly look forward to the U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later in the day to assess the likely path of the Federal Reserve's rate-tightening cycle.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.1% at $1,828.90 per ounce, as of 0334 GMT. U.S. gold futures GCv1 also fell 0.1% to $1,832.90.

Bullion is likely to decline this week and is down about 1.4% for the period.

"The recent hawkish comments from the U.S. Fed Chair, a recovery in the greenback and easing fears of a recession in many economies caused a withdrawal of investment from gold-like safe-havens," said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.

Earlier this week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned of higher and potentially faster interest rate hikes to contain high inflation. FEDWATCH

Higher interest rates to control rising prices discourage investment in non-yielding gold.

Gold had jumped more than 1% on Thursday after data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week increased by the most in five months, spurring hopes that a softening labor market could pave the way for less-aggressive rate hikes from the Fed.

Investors' attention is now on the U.S. Labor Department's non-farm payrolls (NFP) data due at 1330 GMT. The report is expected to show non-farm payrolls increased by 205,000 in February, according to economists polled by Reuters.

Gold will likely "trade choppy" as investors await the U.S. NFP and unemployment data to get "fresh cues" on Fed's next moves, Geojit's Hareesh said.

The dollar index =USD was on track for a weekly gain, making bullion more expensive for buyers holding other currencies. USD/

Spot silver XAG= lost 0.6% to $19.95 per ounce, platinum XPT= shed 1% to $935.05 and palladium XPD= fell 0.6% to $1,380.89.

All three metals were set for a weekly decline, with silver bound for its worst week since mid-October last year.

Source: Reuters

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