Gold prices fell on Friday as a stronger U.S. dollar negated safe-haven demand triggered by a lack of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks, while investors cautiously awaited U.S. jobs data that could provide cues on policy tightening.
Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,930.16 per ounce by 0719 GMT, and on course to end the week more than 1% lower. U.S. gold futures fell 0.9% to $1,936.20. "(Gold is not showing any) signs of weekend haven-buying, another ominous sign, especially as the U.S. dollar continues to rally today," said OANDA senior analyst Jeffrey Halley.
The U.S. dollar strengthened versus major peers on Friday, making gold more expensive for other currency holders, ahead of a key U.S. jobs report that could help the Federal Reserve decide whether to order an interest rate hike of up to 50 basis-points next month.
"A downside surprise on employment and earnings should not dent market rate hike pricing for 2022, with the Fed shifting to inflation-fighting mode," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management in a note.
"By contrast, a beat on jobs data would add weight to the idea that the U.S. economy has more underlying momentum than the Fed previously assumed."
Ukrainian authorities were hoping to evacuate more residents from the besieged southern port of Mariupol on Friday after Russia agreed to open a humanitarian corridor, but several previous deals have collapsed amid mutual recriminations.
Spot gold may test a support at $1,924 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below this level and falling towards $1,898, according to Reuters' technical analyst Wang Tao.
Spot silver shed 0.2% to $24.72 per ounce. Platinum was down 0.1% at $982.68, while palladium climbed 2.1% to $2,308.24. Both metals were on course for a fourth consecutive weekly loss.
(Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)