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Gold steadies as rate hike bets recede, Fed minutes awaited

Gold held firm below a two-week high on Monday as concerns eased over an earlier-than-expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve after a mixed bag of US jobs data, while focus shifted to minutes from the US central bank’s June policy meeting.

Spot gold was steady at $1,787.59 per ounce by 0327 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 18 at $1,794.86 on Friday.

Most US markets were closed on Monday for the Independence Day holiday.
US gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,787.60.

“Last week’s payroll numbers provided a lot of mixed signals and the data wasn’t solid enough to move that Fed needle,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

“However, economic growth in the US is quite strong, inflation is quite strong… We have to be very cognizant as markets are still playing a hawkish Fed hand and this is going to limit gold topside ambitions.”

Data on Friday showed US companies hired the most workers in 10 months in June, but unemployment ticked higher, workforce participation didn’t budge and the pace of hourly earnings growth slowed.

Meanwhile, a rebound in the US labour market is strengthening investors’ focus on economic data and the Fed’s next move, as markets cheer further evidence of a robust economic recovery amid worries over persistent inflation.

Minutes of the Fed’s latest meeting due to be published on Wednesday could shed more light on policymakers’ views on inflation and monetary policy going forward.

Speculators reduced their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week ended June 29 while raising net long positions in silver, data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

Spot gold may break a resistance at $1,789 per ounce and rise to $1,813,as suggested by its wave pattern and retracement analysis, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.3% to $26.55 per ounce, palladium gained 0.3% to $2,793.16 and platinum climbed 0.5% to $1,094.99.

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