Prices of gold futures held above $ 1,200 an ounce on Thursday after weak U.S. private employment data have suggested that a broader jobs report could disappoint. In addition, investors centered their attention on the American Jobs report on Friday for more appreciation of the future direction of monetary policy.
Signs that the US economy decelerated significantly during the 1st quarter boded well for safe haven assets like gold, which was trading not far from a three-week high hit last week.
US private employers added the lowest number of employees in more than a year, in March, the lack of market expectations. Additional data also point a reduced growth of the economy, with the activity of the factory punching a nearly two-year low in March.
On the Comex, gold futures delivery in June dropped $2.20, or 0.18%, to trade at $1,206.00 a troy ounce. Spot gold prices gained 0.2 percent at $1,205.80 an ounce, after climbing 1.8 percent on Wednesday.
Gold registered its biggest average daily gain within two months on Wednesday as weaker than expected economic data fed worries over the health of the US economy and wetted expectations of rising interest rates.
Payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment increased by 189,000 last month, below expectations for a 225,000 increase and the lowest since January 2014.
A separate report showed factory activity in March fell to its lowest level in 14 months.
It is expected that trading activities to be thin on Friday, with many markets closed due to the Easter holiday.
Indian stock and commodity market was shut on 2nd April on account of public holiday. Indian markets started the new financial year (FY16) on a positive note, posting their first weekly gains in four, as shares surged in last-hour trading on Wednesday.
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