May 5, 2017
PRECIOUS-Gold edges up, but set for worst week since November
(Reuters) - Gold inched up on Friday as the euro rose against the dollar, but was on track for its biggest weekly fall since November on receding political risks in France and expectations of a U.S. rate rise as early as June.
Gold edged up slightly from a near seven-week low of $1,225.20 hit on Thursday, but is poised to end the week down over 3 percent, the biggest percentage fall since the week ending Nov. 11.
Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,228.17 per ounce as of 0311 GMT.
"There is no doubt that gold is going through a soft patch right now, but it is approaching good support between $1,190 and $1,200, which at this point is not completely out of reach," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.
Spot gold may fall to $1,209 per ounce, as it has pierced below a support at $1,229, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,228.40 an ounce.
The euro traded near a six-month high against the dollar on Friday, supported by expectations that centrist Emmanuel Macron will win France's presidential election.
Asian stocks declined for a third consecutive day on Friday as fresh falls in commodities raised concerns about the health of the global economy.
The markets are awaiting Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for April for additional insight into the Federal Reserve's rate trajectory through the end of the year.
Economists polled by Reuters expect U.S. employers to have added 185,000 jobs in April, up from 98,000 in March.
A strong nonfarm payrolls number, which is due later in the day, would raise expectations of rate hike in June and have a negative impact on gold, said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, as it increases the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while also boosting the dollar.
New applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell sharply last week and the number of Americans on unemployment rolls hit a 17-year low, pointing to a tightening labor market that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 percent to 853.08 tonnes on Thursday.
Spot silver rose 0.1 percent to $16.30, after hitting a four-month low of $16.17 in the last session. The metal was set to fall about 5 percent this week.
Platinum was up 0.1 percent at $900.10. The metal fell to its lowest since December on Thursday and is set to dip nearly 5 percent this week.
Palladium fell 0.4 percent to $800.95 and was poised for the worst week since the week of March 10.