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Gold struggles near 2-week low after strong US data
[SINGAPORE] Gold was trading near its lowest in two weeks on Thursday after a four-day losing streak, as strong US private-sector jobs data bolstered views the Federal Reserve will hike rates this year.
The absence of top consumer China, which broke for a one-week holiday from Thursday, is likely to keep gold prices in a tight range during Asian hours. Traders were also waiting for US nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday before placing big bets.
Spot gold was little changed at US$1,114.90 an ounce by 0315 GMT, not far from a two-week low of US$1,111.60 hit in the previous session. The metal has lost 3.4 per cent in the last four sessions.
US private employers added a stronger-than-expected 200,000 jobs in September, payrolls processor ADP said on Wednesday. Though other data showed factory activity in the US Midwest contracted, investors cheered the jobs data, sending the dollar up on hopes of a rate hike this year.
"Gold prices came under pressure with upbeat US economic data," said ANZ analysts. "ADP data shows US (nonfarm) payrolls in September could beat forecast estimates." Robust nonfarm payrolls could spark another sell-off in gold, as the data could prompt the Fed to raise rates soon.
The US central bank has said the timing of a rate hike is data dependent.
Gold has come under pressure from expectations the Fed is set to hike rates this year, potentially lifting the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.48 per cent to 687.42 tonnes on Wednesday, but the gain failed to support prices.
Charts weren't looking good for gold either. The metal may break support at US$1,112 and fall towards the next support level at US$1,099, said Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, platinum edged up 0.5 per cent to US$908.50.
Platinum had fallen to US$894, its lowest since late 2008, earlier this week on fears that revelations of Volkswagen's falsification of US vehicle emission tests could affect demand for diesel cars.
Platinum is widely used in emissions-controlling automotive catalytic converters, particularly for diesel engines.
Elsewhere, the global silver-coin market is in the grips of an unprecedented supply squeeze, forcing some mints to ration sales and step up overtime while sending US buyers racing abroad to fulfil a sudden surge in demand.