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Gold slips on profit-taking, firm US dollar ahead of US jobs data
[BENGALURU] Gold prices slipped on Friday on a firmer US dollar and as investors booked profits after the metal hit 11-week highs in the previous session, with attention shifting to key US jobs data later in the day.
Spot gold had edged down 0.2 per cent to US$1,213.53 an ounce by 0307 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.3 per cent to US$1,215.60.
The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major rivals, rose 0.04 per cent on views that the US currency's longer-term upward trend remained intact.
"Although we've had short term bids on gold due to uncertainty... there is some very serious (technical) resistance around the US$1,219-US$1,221 area," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
Spot gold marked an 11-week high of US$1,225.30 an ounce on Thursday. It has risen 1.8 per cent so far this week.
"There would have been impulsive buying on the break of US$1,221, but when it moved back down again, lots of guys would have turned and squared (positions) again," Mr Halley said.
US non-farm payroll data for January will be closely watched on Friday. The report is seen as a key barometre of the health of the US economy and will be examined for signs that growth is strong enough to support further interest rate hikes.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 175,000 jobs last month, picking up from the 156,000 jobs added in December. The unemployment rate is expected to be unchanged at 4.7 per cent in January, near a nine-year low.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose for a second straight day on Thursday. They climbed 0.18 per cent to 811.22 tonnes from the day before.
Spot silver fell 0.5 per cent to US$17.33, after hitting its strongest in over 11 weeks at US$17.73 in the last session.
"Silver finally succumbed to profit-taking after a stellar week," said MKS PAMP Group trader Tim Brown.
Platinum dropped one per cent to US$990, having hit a 12-week high of US$1,011.60 the day before.
Palladium fell 0.4 per cent to US$754.4.