June 2, 2017 / 2:41 AM / 6 months ago

Gold gains after disappointing U.S. jobs data

LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices rose to a near six-week high on Friday in response to disappointing U.S. non-farm payrolls data that lowered expectations for more aggressive U.S. interest rate increases.

A salesman arranges gold bangles in a display case inside a jewellery showroom on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, a major gold buying festival, in Agartala, India, April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey/File Photo

Data showed that U.S. job growth slowed in May and employment gains in the prior two months were not as strong as previously reported, suggesting the labour market was losing momentum.

A slow recovery in the world’s biggest economy dents the likelihood for higher interest rates which benefits non-interest yielding and safe-haven gold.

Spot gold was rose 0.7 percent to $1,274.39 an ounce at 1440 GMT, its highest since April 25, headed for its fourth week of gains

U.S. gold futures were up 0.6 percent at $1,278.30 an ounce.

“This is not the kind of report people had hoped for, and that has put pressure on the dollar and yields, and gold is always happy to profit from that,” Georgette Boele, commodity strategist at ABN AMRO, said.

She said the data would cause investors to temper their expectations of rate increases this year and next year, putting pressure on the dollar and U.S. bond yields and helping gold.

Expectations for stronger jobs data and upbeat data from U.S. factory activity had pushed gold to a one week low earlier on Friday.

“There is good room to fall back to $1,200 within the next three months,” Dominic Schnider at UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong, said.

“The world economy is still in good shape, people are risk-on, inflation is levelling off, there is no real big inflation threat anymore, policy is normalising still.”

In other markets, global stocks hit a record high while the dollar strengthened, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies. [MKTS/GLOB][USD/]

Among other precious metals, palladium was up 1.4 percent at $834.97 an ounce after earlier touching $835.90, its highest level since September 2014.

Silver rose 0.7 percent to 17.39 per ounce while platinum firmed 1 percent to $937, but poised to end the week lower.

Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Jane Merriman

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