[SINGAPORE] Gold held a two-day decline before an US employment report that's expected to provide further clues on when the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates. Palladium extended a rebound from a two-year low.
Bullion for immediate delivery was at US$1,168.22 an ounce at 8.41 am in Singapore from US$1,168.79 on Thursday, when prices dropped 0.3 per cent, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal fell to US$1,166.99 on Tuesday, the lowest since June 5.
Prices fell 1.3 per cent this year as prospects for higher US borrowing costs and a rising dollar outweighed concern that Greece may exit the euro. American companies boosted employment in June, a private survey showed on Wednesday, before the Labor Department's report later today. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced to the highest level in more than three weeks.
"Data continued to make the case for September Fed 'lift- off'," Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd said in a note. "We expect robust non-farm payrolls growth of 250,000." The non-farm payrolls data on Thursday will probably show that employers added more than 200,000 jobs for the 15th time in 16 months, according to a Bloomberg survey. Higher interest rates and a strong dollar tend to curb the appeal of gold, which generally offers returns only through price gains.
Futures for August delivery fell 0.2 per cent to US$1,167.40 an ounce on the Comex. Silver for immediate delivery was little changed at US$15.5635 an ounce after falling for five days.
Palladium rose 0.4 per cent to US$699.80 an ounce, rising for a third day after dropping to US$665 on Tuesday, the lowest price since 2013. Platinum was at US$1,082.07 an ounce from US$1,082.38.