Monday, October 5, 2015

Gold retains sharp gains after sluggish US jobs data

Gold retained gains from its biggest daily jump in nearly nine months as weak US jobs data eased fears the Federal Reserve would hike rates this year.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,136.60 an ounce by 0325 GMT. The metal had gained 2.2 per cent on Friday, its biggest one-day rise since January 15.

Data on Friday showed US employers slammed the brakes on hiring over the last two months. Non-farm payrolls rose by only 142,000 last month, below economist expectations of 203,000.

Gold, which had been weighed down by expectations that the US central bank could soon raise rates, rallied as the dollar fell. The metal is still down nearly 4 per cent this year.

“The Fed is extremely unlikely to begin policy normalisation as soon as this month and December is looking tenuous too,’’ ANZ analysts said, referring to the remaining two policy meets scheduled for this year.

The Fed had refrained from raising rates at its last policy meeting in September, citing weakness in the global economy and volatility in financial markets.

Higher rates would dent the demand for non-interest-paying gold, while boosting the dollar.

“We think gold’s recent resilience is due in large part to growing expectations that the US economy, in conjunction with that of China’s, may now be slowing, perhaps persuading the Fed to defer from raising rates just yet,’’ said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

Silver had also rallied with gold, gaining 5.4 per cent on Friday, its sharpest rise since December 2014.

On Monday, the metal rose to its highest in two weeks at $15.35, before ticking lower.

Platinum was trading up 0.6 percent at $910.50, after hitting a near-seven-year-low of $888 in the previous session.

Platinum has been hit after revelations last month that Volkswagen falsified US vehicle emission tests, which some believe could affect the demand for diesel cars. Platinum is widely used in auto catalysts, particularly for diesel engines.

Palladium rose to $708 on Monday, its highest since June, boosted by hopes that demand for gasoline cars, where the metal is used in catalysts, could increase.

Hedge funds and money managers increased bullish bets in COMEX gold futures and options to a four-week high but cut a silver net long position in the week to September 29, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data had showed on Friday.

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