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Gold gains as stocks retreat; US jobs data in focus

[BENGALURU] Gold prices rose on Friday, as US Treasury yields fell and a pullback in global equities bolstered demand for the safe-haven metal ahead of US non-farm payrolls data, but a strong US dollar put bullion on track for a weekly decline.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at US$1,935.80 per ounce by 5.26am GMT, off a near one-week low hit on Thursday. Bullion prices have declined 1.5 per cent so far this week.

US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to US$1,941.30.

"It's a bit of a flight to safety right now that we are seeing in gold, because the stock markets are lower," said Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

"What also could be helping gold is the sharp slide we are seeing in US yields." Asia's stock markets slipped, following the steepest Wall Street sell-off since June, while benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields were on track for their biggest weekly decline in nearly three months.

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Lower bond yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

All eyes are now on US non-payroll figures due out at 12.30pm GMT for the latest indication of how the coronavirus-hit economy is faring.

The data is expected to show payrolls grew by 1.4 million in August, compared to the 1.763 million jobs created in the previous month.

Gold is expected to be rangebound between US$1,930 and US$1,950 ahead of the non-farm payrolls report, said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.

"The reason for gold not sort of firing higher right now is because the dollar is picking up steam," he added.

Limiting gold's advance, the dollar index rose against its rivals and was on track for its best week since mid-May.

Elsewhere, silver gained 0.2 per cent to US$26.66 per ounce but shed 3 per cent for the week so far. Palladium climbed 1 per cent to US$2,309.50.

Platinum rose 0.5 per cent to US$894.05 but was on track for its worst week since mid-March, down over 4 per cent.


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