Gold prices steady after weak U.S. jobs data

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,770.66 per ounce

  
Security guards count several one kilo gold bars inside a secured vault in Dubai April 20, 2006.

Security guards count several one kilo gold bars inside a secured vault in Dubai April 20, 2006.

Reuters/Stringer

Gold prices were steady on Friday as investors tried to gauge what impact a weak U.S. jobs report would have on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy amid uncertainty sparked by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,770.66 per ounce by 09:22 a.m. ET (1422 GMT). Gold had briefly bounced after data showed the United States added fewer-than-anticipated jobs in November. 

U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,770.30.

The dollar had initially weakened after the data before firming again, making greenback-priced gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The initial bounce in gold suggested "the market viewed the missed print as a signal that tapering may not be accelerated," Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper said.

But beyond that move, prices are still searching for a floor following the dip below the key $1,800 level, Cooper said.

Reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, translating into a higher opportunity cost for holding non-interest yielding bullion.

Edward Moya, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA, said gold markets were now in a "wait-and-see approach" amid uncertainty over Omicron.

"It's unclear whether or not you're going to have a lot of investors go into the precious metal for safety," especially considering that the equity market has been fairly resilient, Moya said.

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday as the jobs data seemed to ease some concerns about faster monetary policy tightening. .N

Gold has declined 1.2% so far this week, set for its third weekly loss, several Fed officials suggested the central bank could accelerate tapering. 

Spot silver fell 0.1% to $22.35 per ounce.

Platinum rose 0.3% to $939.81 and palladium gained 1.6% to $1,809.85.

(Reporting by Asha Sistla and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni) ((Asha.Sistla@thomsonreuters.com; If within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2808; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: asha.sistla.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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