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Gold rises from 10-month lows but heading for fourth consecutive weekly drop

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Gold recovered from its lowest since early February on Friday as the US dollar drifted lower ahead of US jobs data, but the metal is still on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline.

[BENGALURU] Gold recovered from its lowest since early February on Friday as the US dollar drifted lower ahead of US jobs data, but the metal is still on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at US$1,173.76 an ounce by 0248 GMT. The metal fell to its lowest since Feb 5 at US$1,160.38 in the previous session.

For the week, gold was trading down 0.7 per cent.

US gold futures gained 0.5 per cent at US$1,175.60 per ounce.

"These movements in gold can be tied to the dollar," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.

"There is a bit of buying in the physical side, but that has not been really aggressive." The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.2 per cent on Friday to 100.850 as investors remained wary ahead of US payrolls data due later in the day.

The US dollar has scaled back from near 14-year highs of 102.05 hit on Nov 24 on the back of a surge in US Treasury yields triggered by expectations of higher fiscal impulse and faster pace of monetary tightening under president-elect Donald Trump.

Several Federal Reserve policymakers have since expressed confidence in the US economy and signalled a possible near-term interest rate hike.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the US dollar.

"People are rushing to the stock market rather than the gold markets. That is evident in the liquidation we are seeing in the exchange traded funds (ETFs)," Leung of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers added.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 1.54 per cent to 870.22 tonnes on Thursday. Holdings have fallen over 6 per cent last month.

Spot gold may bounce moderately into a range of US$1,184 to US$1,194 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Silver was 0.3 per cent higher at US$16.56 an ounce and platinum was up 0.4 per cent at US$914.35.

Both metals were on track for a first weekly rise in four weeks.

Palladium gained 0.6 per cent at US$754.65 an ounce after scaling its highest level since June 2015 at US$774.60 in the previous session. It was set to rise for a fifth straight week.

REUTERS