April 08, 2019
Gold prices hit one week high as dollar turns lower
(Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a one-week peak on Monday as the dollar edged lower, while investors awaited minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve's March meeting later this week.
Spot gold gained about 0.4 percent to $1,295.81 per ounce by 0358 GMT, having hit a session high of $1,296.69 earlier. U.S. gold futures were also up 0.4 percent at $1,300.10 an ounce.
"The dollar index is pulling back from multi-week highs," said Margaret Yang, a market analyst with CMC Markets, Singapore, adding that a softer dollar was acting as a tailwind for gold.
"Though the non-farm payrolls data was better than expected, the manufacturing jobs fell which is a bad signal for the sector and doesn't show a bright picture for the economic outlook."
The dollar was down 0.1 percent against key rivals, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Though employment growth accelerated from a 17-month low in March, data on Friday showed slowdown in wage growth and job cuts in the manufacturing sector, the first decline in factory payrolls since July 2017.
The moderation in wage growth supported the Fed's decision to suspend further interest rate increases this year.
Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.
The markets are now awaiting the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March policy meeting, due on Wednesday, for cues on Fed's future monetary policy stance.
Capping bullion's gains were strong Asian shares, which rose to seven-month highs as investors cheered a rebound in U.S. payrolls and hints of more stimulus in China.
Gold had slipped to its lowest since Jan. 25 at $1,280.59 in the previous week, mainly pressured by rising equities on optimism around the Sino-U.S. trade deal.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators are scheduled to resume discussions this week to try to secure a pact to end the year-long tit-for-tat tariff battle.
A rally in equity markets has led investors to liquidate their gold investments, analysts said.
Hedge funds and money managers slashed their bullish wagers in COMEX gold in the week to April 2, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.
Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , also fell as much as 3 percent in the previous week, its biggest weekly percentage decline since end-November 2016.
Among other precious metals, spot platinum was last up 1.1 percent at $904.44 an ounce, after touching its more-than-ten-month high of $912.90 earlier in the session.
Palladium rose 0.7 percent to $1,378.96 and silver gained 0.5 percent to $15.15.