Gold steadies above 10-week low; focus on U.S. jobs data

(Reuters) – Gold was little changed on Friday, having slid to its lowest level in 10-weeks in the previous session as the dollar strengthened ahead of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due later in the day.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant ‘Oegussa’ in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was flat at $1,291.71 per ounce by 0104 GMT, after touching its lowest since Jan. 25 at $1,280.59 in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,295.40 an ounce.

Spot platinum, which surged to its highest since mid-June, 2018 at $901.49 in the previous session, was down 0.5 percent at $893.50 an ounce.

The dollar rose to a three-week high versus the yen on Friday, lifted by expectations that a protracted trade dispute between the United States and China would be resolved soon.

Asian share markets consolidated weekly gains on Friday as Sino-U.S. talks dragged on with no concrete conclusions, while caution ahead of U.S. payrolls and a holiday in China and Hong Kong dampened volatility.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States and China were getting very close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, but he issued a warning to Beijing that, absent a pact, it would be difficult to allow trade to continue.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a nearly half-century low last week, pointing to sustained labour market strength despite slowing economic growth.

German industrial orders fell at their sharpest rate in more than two years in February as they were hit by a slump in foreign demand, compounding worries that Europe’s largest economy had a weak start to the year.

Pro-Brexit lawmakers in Britain’s upper house of parliament tried on Thursday to thwart the approval of a new law that would force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a delay to prevent a disorderly EU exit on April 12 without a deal.

Goldcorp shareholders approved Newmont Mining Corp’s $10 billion takeover offer on Thursday, removing one of the last remaining hurdles to create the world’s largest gold producer.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.2 percent to 762.55 tonnes on Thursday.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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