London: Gold was steady alongside a lacklustre dollar on Friday, ahead of US jobs data expected to provide more clues to the path of monetary policy in the world’s largest economy.
The dollar index also trod water ahead of the non-farm payrolls, which were expected to show that job numbers bounced back in October after September’s drop.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,274.50 per ounce at 1208 GMT, and was on track for its first weekly gain in three. It hit its highest level in about two weeks at $1,284.10 in the previous session.
US gold for December delivery dipped 0.2 per cent to $1,275.50.
Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said the jobs data would probably adjust after last month’s figures were distorted by the hurricane.
“But it will probably be difficult to really pinpoint any trend or pattern in data, so there is a possibility the market will ignore the report and look towards the next round of data.”
The dollar shrugged off news of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next Fed chair, which came as no surprise.
The greenback had slipped on Thursday after Republicans in the US House of Representatives released proposals to overhaul the tax code.
“Gold seems to be broadly flat. The announcement of Jerome Powell as the new Fed chair was broadly in line with expectations,” said John Sharma, an economist with National Australia Bank.
“Markets are waiting for the US payrolls data. A strong result here would not be supportive of gold.”
Trump’s appointment of Powell broke with precedent by denying Janet Yellen a second term, but signalled a continuation of her cautious monetary policies.
“The general trend for gold over the last week has been positive, but the market will need to find a catalyst within the host of data released tonight to push through the strong resistance at $1,280,” MKS PAMP analyst Tim Brown wrote in a note.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4 per cent on Thursday.
Meanwhile in Asia, demand for physical gold was lacklustre this week in top consumers India and China, while the lure of the metal remained stable in Singapore, but India’s peak wedding season is expected to usher in renewed interest for bullion in coming weeks.
Spot gold looks neutral in a narrow range of $1,263-$1,281 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
In other precious metals, spot silver inched 0.1 per cent lower to $17.09 an ounce and platinum eased 0.7 per cent to $918.50, while palladium dipped 0.3 per cent to $922.50.