* Physical buying spree eases after Friday's rush * Spot gold to hover above $1,678/oz - technicals * Coming up: US ISM non-manufacturing PMI, Oct; 1500 GMT (Updates prices) By Rujun Shen SINGAPORE, Nov 5 Gold nudged a touch higher on Monday, paring falls after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data sent gold to a two-month low in the previous session, but a stronger dollar curbed the rebound. U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October and a small increase in the jobless rate was due to more workers restarting their job hunts, adding to evidence that the economic recovery is gaining traction. More monetary stimulus would not be necessary if the economy can stand up on its own, which would deal a blow to gold, which rode to near $1,800 an ounce last month on stimulus measures taken up by central banks. Rampant cash printing by central banks increases gold's appeal as investors worry about currency debasement and inflation as a result of quantitative easing. "In the short term gold may hover around Friday's low, but there isn't much room on the downside as easing monetary policy is still a global trend," said Li Ning, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures. Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,678.44 an ounce by 0727 GMT, recovering from a two-month low of $1,673.94 an ounce on Friday. U.S. gold gained 0.2 percent to $1,679. Technical analysis suggested that spot gold may hover above a support at $1,678 during the day before breaking this level and falling more to $1,666, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao. A stronger dollar weighed on gold's rebound. The greenback rose to its highest in nearly two months against a basket of currencies, as investors sought safe haven ahead of Tuesday's U.S. presidential election. Gold is likely to tread water as investors also closely watch a key gathering of China's ruling Communist Party which is expected to usher in a new generation of leaders, as well as a policy meeting of the European Central Bank later this week. Physical gold buyers rushed to the market on Friday during the sell-off, and the buying spree eased on Monday. "There is physical delivery today on Friday's orders," said a Singapore-based dealer. "People are not in a rush to buy because there is plenty of supply around. But if prices drop below $1,650, there will be good demand and supply will tighten up." She added that gold bar premiums in Singapore stood at 80 to 90 cents an ounce above London prices. Speculators cut the net length in U.S. gold futures and options for the third straight week in the week ended Oct. 30, to 149,853 contracts. Net length in silver, platinum and palladium also fell, said the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Spot silver partly rebounded from a 4.3-percent slide in the previous session, to gain 0.3 percent to $30.88. Striking miners at AngloGold Ashanti were due to return to work on Sunday at two mines where operations were suspended this week in a dispute over bonus payments, the world's third largest bullion producer said. Spot palladium lost 1.5 percent to $600. Spot platinum was up 0.4 percent to $1,543.25. Precious metals prices 0727 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1678.44 2.08 +0.12 7.33 Spot Silver 30.88 0.10 +0.32 11.52 Spot Platinum 1543.25 6.15 +0.40 10.79 Spot Palladium 600.00 -9.00 -1.48 -8.05 COMEX GOLD DEC2 1679.00 3.80 +0.23 7.16 21279 COMEX SILVER DEC2 30.90 0.04 +0.14 10.69 6063 Euro/Dollar 1.2834 Dollar/Yen 80.35 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Editing by Ed Davies)
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