February 6, 2017 / 1:11 AM / 6 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold up on weaker dollar after U.S. jobs data

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Gold prices crawled higher on Monday on a
weaker dollar after mixed U.S. jobs data late last week lowered
expectations for  near-term interest rate hikes.
     
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had gained 0.2 percent to $1,222.30 per
ounce by 0053 GMT. 
    * U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,223.20
per ounce.
    * The dollar Index was down 0.2 percent at 99.723. 
 
    * U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January as
construction firms and retailers ramped up hiring, but wages
barely rose, handing the administration under President Donald
Trump both a head start and a challenge as it seeks to boost the
economy. 
    * Wall Street's top banks expect just two rate hikes from
the Federal Reserve this year and see only modest risk to the
U.S. central bank being pressed into a more aggressive pace of
monetary policy tightening, a Reuters polls showed on Friday.
 
    * Asian shares edged ahead on Monday as Wall Street gathered
momentum into a busy week of earnings with more than 100 major
companies due to report, while the dollar was again hobbled by a
lack of progress on U.S. fiscal stimulus. 
    * China's central bank surprised financial markets on Friday
by raising short-term interest rates on the first day back from
a long holiday, in a further sign of policy tightening as the
economy shows signs of steadying. 
    * Speculators increased their net long position in COMEX
gold contracts in the week to Jan. 31. 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.41 percent to
814.51 tonnes on Friday from 811.22 tonnes on Thursday.
 
    * The Perth Mint's sales of gold products rose in January to
the highest in three months, while silver sales nearly tripled
from last month, the mint said in a blog post on its website on
Friday. 
    * A bounce in investment to a four-year high drove a modest
gain in gold demand last year, data from the World Gold Council
showed on Friday, even as use of the metal in jewellery slid to
its lowest since 2009 and coin and bar buying slid. 
    * Demand for gold in India rose last week as many jewellers
resumed purchases after having stayed away for a few weeks
hoping for an import duty cut in the government budget.
 
       

      DATA AHEAD (GMT)    
      0145 China          Caixin services PMI             Jan
      0700 Germany        Industrial orders               Dec
      0930 Euro zone      Sentix index                    Feb
      1500 U.S.           Employment trends               Jan

 (Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)

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