August 3, 2018 / 10:10 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold bounces up from 17-month low on weak U.S. jobs data

    * U.S. job growth slows more than expected in July 
    * Yuan recovers after central bank adjustment 
    * Silver heads for eighth weekly decline

 (Recasts after U.S. data, yuan rebound, updates prices)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Eric Onstad
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Gold rallied 1 percent on
Friday, after falling to the lowest in nearly 17 months when
weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data pushed the dollar lower and
a move by the Chinese central bank lifted its currency. 
    Spot gold        was up 0.60 percent at $1,214.79 an ounce
by 2:02 p.m. EDT (1802 GMT), after rallying 1 percent to
$1,220.01. Earlier it dropped to $1,204, the lowest since March
15, 2017. 
    U.S. gold futures         settled up 0.3 percent at
$1,223.20 an ounce. 
    "I think the move up is temporary here. It was the miss in
the jobs number and tells you that the jobs market may not be on
easy street. It may be having a bump in the road right now,"
said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    The dollar index        turned negative after data showed
U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July.             
    Earlier, the dollar had climbed to a two-week high against a
basket of major currencies and scaled a 14-month peak versus the
Chinese yuan.        
    China's offshore yuan           also reversed, rising
sharply after its central bank acted to curb short selling of
the currency.              
    Spot gold, which was on track to close the week down 0.3
percent, its seventh weekly decline in the past eight, may fall
toward the next support at $1,194, as it has resumed its
downtrend from $1,309.30, according to Reuters technical analyst
Wang Tao.             
    "Gold is getting cheap and positioning wise; that should be
a reason for bottoming out. The shorts are relatively big," said
Georgette Boele, commodity strategist at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam,
adding that speculators will probably want to test the $1,200
level.
    Weighing on the market was a report by the World Gold
Council showing that global demand fell 6 percent in the first
half of the year to the lowest for the period since 2009.
            
    "As long as the dollar remains strong – we believe another
couple of months – demand should stay soft and prices should
trade rather range-bound," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke
said in a note.
    Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.7 percent
to $15.41 an ounce, but was on track to close the week lower for
the eighth straight week.
    Platinum        climbed 0.8 percent to $828.99 an ounce, set
to finish the week up 0.4 percent, its strongest since late-May.
Palladium        dipped 0.1 percent to $910.75 an ounce, on
track to close the week down 0.8 percent.    

 (Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by
Jon Boyle and Steve Orlofsky)
  
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