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    Gold loses ground in face of firm dollar as investors eye US non-farm payrolls

    Abstract:Spot bullion inches down 0.2% to $1,810.71 per ounce after prices retreated from a two-week peak

      Bengaluru — Gold prices edged lower on Monday as the dollar held steady, with cautious investors eyeing Julys non-farm payrolls due later this week to gauge the health of the labour market.

      Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,810.71 per ounce by 5.32am. On Friday, prices retreated from a two-week peak, after the dollar recovered slightly from a one-month low.

      However, the dollar index was down 0.8% last week, its worst weekly performance in more than two months. A weaker dollar makes bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.

      US gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,814.90 per ounce.

      “The market is fearful of a stronger payroll [data], which will make the dollar stronger…. It will probably keep them from strapping on a lot of interest rate-sensitive risks,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

      The data will give investors more insight into the timeline for policy tapering, he added.

      Economists in a Reuters poll forecast a 926,000 job increase in Julys non-farm payrolls number, due on Friday.

      The health of the labour market is an important prerequisite for the US central bank to taper monetary stimulus.

      Chair Jerome Powell said last week interest rate hikes were “ways away” and the job market still had “some ground to cover”, which sent gold jumping more than 1% last Thursday.

      Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

      On the technical front, spot gold may revisit its July 23 low of $1,789.98 per ounce, as it failed again to break a resistance at $1,832.80, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

      Among other precious metals, silver was flat at $25.46, palladium gained 0.5% at $2,672.93 and platinum rose 0.9% to $1,058.22.

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