June 7, 2019 / 6:46 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eyes best week in 2019 on rate cut views; U.S. jobs data in focus

    * Gold up 2.2% so far this week
    * Investors await U.S. jobs data due at 1230 GMT
    * Platinum on track for its first weekly gain in 7
    * Silver set to post best week in over 4 months

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    June 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Friday, but were
headed for their best week this year, supported by expectations
of an interest rate cut by Federal Reserve and heightened global
trade conflicts, while investors await U.S. jobs report due
later in the session.
    Spot gold        edged 0.1% lower to $1,333.54 per ounce, as
of 0723 GMT, while U.S. gold futures         fell 0.4% to
$1,337.80.
    However, gold has gained 2.2% so far this week and is set to
post its best weekly percentage gain since late-March.
    "Expectations that the U.S.-Mexico tariffs may be
short-lived is currently fuelling optimism in global markets,"
Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank, said.
    "Gold is likely to stay muted through the rest of the day
before the release of the non-farm payrolls. Investors want to
see the impact on the U.S. jobs market before reassessing the
current pessimism."
    Mexican and U.S. officials held a second day of talks on
trade and migration on Thursday amid reports U.S. President
Donald Trump might delay the imposition of tariffs, which
rendered some support to the financial markets.            
                          
    Meanwhile, Trump said he would decide whether to carry out
his threat to hit Beijing with tariffs on at least $300 billion
in Chinese goods after a meeting of leaders of the world's
largest economies late this month.             
    Bullion has risen nearly $60 an ounce after Washington's
threat of tariffs on Mexico, while recent weak economic readings
from the United States increased hopes of an interest rate cut.
    New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on
Thursday said concerns about escalating trade tariffs and
slowing global growth are boosting uncertainty and holding back
business investment, but he is keeping an open mind on interest
rates.              
    Investors now await data on U.S. non-farm payrolls due at
1230 GMT for clues on the trajectory of interest rates. 
    "If we get a poor non-farm number, then the dollar would
sell off and gold can regroup," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward
Meir.
    The dollar index       , which is set to post its worst week
since week ended March 15, was relatively unchanged against a
basket of major currencies on Friday.
    "There is a lot of (technical) resistance around the present
levels. The $1,350 needs to be taken out and next target is
$1,370, which is a more stubborn resistance," Meir said. 
    Among other metals, silver        gained 0.4% to $14.91 per
ounce, on track for its best week since Jan. 25.
    Platinum        edged 0.1% higher to $804.05 an ounce, but
the auto-catalyst metal was headed for its first weekly gain in
seven.
    Palladium        rose 0.2% to $1,354.46 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru,
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips & Uttaresh.V)
  
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