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Money News

Gold gains as stocks retreat; U.S. jobs data in focus

(Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday, as U.S. Treasury yields fell and a pullback in global equities bolstered demand for the safe-haven metal ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data, but a strong dollar put bullion on track for a weekly decline.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,935.10 per ounce by 0651 GMT, off a near one-week low hit on Thursday. Bullion prices have declined 1.5% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,941.

“It’s a bit of a flight to safety right now that we are seeing in gold, because the stock markets are lower,” said Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

“What also could be helping gold is the sharp slide we are seeing in U.S. yields.”

Asia’s stock markets slipped, following the steepest Wall Street sell-off since June, while benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields were on track for their biggest weekly decline in nearly three months.

Lower bond yields reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

All eyes are now on U.S. non-payroll figures due out at 1230 GMT for the latest indication of how the coronavirus-hit economy is faring.

The data is expected to show payrolls grew by 1.4 million in August, compared to the 1.763 million jobs created in the previous month.

Gold is expected to be rangebound between $1,930 and $1,950 ahead of the non-farm payrolls report, said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.

“The reason for gold not sort of firing higher right now is because the dollar is picking up steam,” he added.

Limiting gold’s advance, the dollar index held steady against its rivals and was on track for its best week since mid-May.

Elsewhere, silver gained 0.3% to $26.72 per ounce but shed 3% for the week so far. Palladium climbed 0.5% to $2,296.52.

Platinum rose 0.6% to $894.30 but was on track for its worst week since mid-March, down over 4%.

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Uttaresh.V

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