Gold prices edge higher, ahead of US payrolls data

Gold prices edge higher, ahead of US payrolls data

Prices of gold futures rose in European hours of Friday morning after two day losing streak as the demand for the US dollar remained supported jobless claims data on Thursday and a forthcoming report on nonfarm payrolls which will be closely watched by market players to find out more clues on the timing of an expected rise in US rates.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,186.56 an ounce, while on the Comex, gold futures for June delivery were up 0.25% at $1,184.90.

The greenback strengthened after the Labor Department of the United States reported on Thursday that the number of individuals who filed for jobless benefits in the week ended May 2 increased as 3000 total 265,000 262,000 the previous week.

Analysts had expected initial unemployment claims increase by 18000-280000 last week.

A recent string of mixed economic data has prompted to previous expectations that the Federal Reserve announced a rate hike at its June policy meeting again later this year.

A strong employment report would support the view that the Fed will act sooner rather than later, pushing gold. Rising rates tend to raise the opportunity cost of maintaining performance while strong bullion not the dollar, which has a price.

Most of the investors sold the gold from bullion-backed funds in more than a week, while prices were steady before the U.S. data forecast to show a pickup in the job market.

Holdings in SPDR gold fell by 2.6 metric tons, the most since April 27, to 1,625.3 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg as of Thursday.

Taking positive cues from overseas markets, gold prices for delivery in far-month August futures on the Multi Commodity Exchange, shed Rs 59, or 0.22 per cent, to Rs 27,120 per 10 GM.

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