Gold slides down to its lowest level in five weeks prior to U.S. jobs data

Gold slides down

Gold prices inched down to the lowest level in five weeks on Thursday, pressured by an uptick in the dollar ahead of US non-farm payrolls data on Friday.

Bullion for immediate delivery lost as much as 0.4 percent to $1,203.98 an ounce, the lowest level since Feb. 1, and traded at $1,204.39. It’s lower for a fourth day, while yields on 10-year Treasuries up for a ninth session. US gold futures eased 0.2 per cent to $1,207.00.

Investors are waiting for the February non-farm payrolls data on Friday as a basis of the US economy after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the central bank was poised to lift rates provided jobs and inflation data held up.

Her comments were seen as sealing plans for an increase at the Fed's March 14-15 meeting.

“Three weeks ago the possibility of a rate hike in March was very small, but now it’s 100 percent,” said Sumitomo Corp. Global Research Co. chief executive officer, Bob Takai, who remains bullish on gold given the uncertainties that may come with Donald Trump’s presidency. “Once the rate is raised in March, it is going to take a lot of time for the Fed to move once again.” He added.

After raising rates just a single time in 2015 and also in 2016, the pace may quicken this year. An expectation for three increases this year is shown on the so-called dot plot from Fed policy makers. And last Friday, Yellen dropped hints the bank might end up having to hike them more than planned in 2017.

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