Gold see-saws in tight range as focus stays on U.S. labour data

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Gold bullion is displayed at GoldSilver Central's office in Singapore

By Arundhati Sarkar

(Reuters) - Gold traded within a narrow range on Wednesday, as investors largely looked past a slew of U.S. economic readings to focus on key labour data that could influence the Federal Reserve's tapering plans.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,812.55 per ounce by 1:50 pm EDT (1750 GMT), while U.S. gold futures settled down 0.1% at $1,816 an ounce.

Bullion largely tracked moves in the dollar, which retreated after the ADP National Employment Report showed U.S. private employers hired far fewer workers than expected in August, but subsequently pared some of those losses on data showing an uptick in manufacturing.

The greenback's moves influence gold since it makes bullion cheaper or expensive for those holding other currencies. [USD/]

While gold did get a little boost from the dollar's initial retreat, "the trend suggests it's getting exhausted," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures

Also, the boost gold got from the Fed last week after Chair Jerome Powell said that although tapering could begin this year, the central bank would take a cautious approach to raising interest rates, is starting to die out, thanks to expectations for a strong number in Friday's jobs data, Haberkorn added.

Economists polled by Reuters predicted the U.S. non-farm jobs report for August on Friday would show payrolls increased by 750,000.

Gold will continue to consolidate until the labour market report, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in a note.

Stronger U.S. data could boost the dollar and in turn weigh on gold prices, analysts said.

Data showed holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, slid to their lowest level since April 2020 on Tuesday. [GOL/ETF]

Meanwhile, silver rose 1% to $24.13 per ounce, having hit an over three-week high.

Platinum eased 1.2% to $1,000.01 and palladium fell 0.8% to $2,447.44.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shailesh Kuber)

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