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Gold holds ground as investors await U.S. jobs data

Gold prices held steady on Monday after data showed U.S. inflation subsided, bolstering hopes that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates this year.

Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices edged higher on Monday, buoyed by some short covering from investors with focus turning to U.S. jobs data due later this week that could offer more cues around interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $2,329.79 per ounce. Prices registered a more than 4% gain in the second quarter.

U.S. gold futures settled mostly unchanged at $2,338.9.

“We’re seeing a little bit of short covering by the shorter term futures traders and bargain hunting by the guys in the cash market. The markets are also being supported by firm crude oil prices and a weaker U.S. dollar,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior market analyst at Kitco Metals.

“We are probably going to grind sideways here or maybe sideways to lower here for probably the rest of the summer,” Wyckoff added.

U.S. manufacturing contracted for a third straight month in June and a measure of prices paid by factories for inputs dropped to a six-month low amid weak demand for goods, indicating that inflation could continue to subside.

This week, the focus will be on remarks from U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday, followed by minutes from the central bank’s latest policy meeting on Wednesday and U.S. non-farm payrolls data due on Friday.

Data last week showed U.S. prices were unchanged in May, while consumer spending rose moderately.

“Powell is likely to stick to a data-dependent stance, so should payrolls later this week come in softer, it could again lift gold prices,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

The market now sees a 64% chance of the Fed cutting interest rates in September as well as another cut in December.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding bullion.

Elsewhere, spot silver rose 0.6% to $29.29, platinum slipped 1.6% to $977.70 and palladium gained 0.1% to $973.61.

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