Gold muted as U.S. jobs data raises doubts over Fed rate-hike path
Gold prices were steady on Monday, having
posted their best day in a month in the last session after a
U.S. jobs report showed unemployment rising in August,
suggesting the Federal Reserve might slow the pace of rate
Spot gold was flat at $1,710.70 per ounce by 0737
GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,719.70.
Gold rose as much as 1.3% on Friday after data showed U.S.
employers hired more workers than expected in August, but
moderate wage growth and a rise in the unemployment rate to 3.7%
suggested the labor market was starting to loosen.
“With the Fed meeting just over two weeks away and their
‘blackout period’ fast approaching, any comments from Fed
members this week will be scrutinized by traders as they have
the ability to move the needle on Fed policy,” said Matt
Simpson, a senior market analyst at City Index.
“Any comments alluding to a 75 bp hike could keep gold
prices under pressure.”
Fed’s next policy meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20-21.
“Gold gained on Friday as more Americans returned to the
workforce. Any easing of the tight labor market will help the
Fed tame inflation and potentially reduce its need to tighten
rates aggressively,” ANZ said in a note.
Gold tends to perform badly amid a high-interest rate
environment as it yields no interest.
The dollar index hit a 20-year high, making gold
expensive for holders of other currencies.
Speculators cut net long position in COMEX gold by 9,599
contracts to 20,726 in the week to Aug. 30, while net short
position increased in COMEX silver, the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
Spot silver rose 0.4% at $18.10 per ounce, platinum
edged 0.5% higher to $839.38 per ounce, while palladium
gained 0.9% to $2,040.49.
Stronger-than-expected platinum shipments to China in the
first half of the year spurred shortages elsewhere, as supply
declined from mines and recycling, the World Platinum Investment
(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad and Eileen Soreng in
Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)