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PRECIOUS-Gold set for weekly gain as c.banks hold fire; U.S. jobs data in focus

(Updates prices)

* U.S. non-farm payrolls due at 1230 GMT

* Gold set to end the week higher

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices were on track to end the week higher, as the non-yielding metal’s appeal was boosted by major central banks standing pat on interest rates, with focus now shifting to a monthly U.S. jobs report due later in the day.

Spot gold edged up 0.06% to $1,792.74 per ounce by 1115 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.1% to $1,795.60 per ounce.

“Given how the pending nonfarm payrolls report could impact U.S. rate hike expectations, it will most likely play a key role in how gold concludes this week,” said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

Investors will be keenly watching U.S. monthly jobs data due at 1230 GMT to get a critical view of the economy, after a report on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell drastically.

“A report that meets or exceeds expectations is seen boosting the dollar, ultimately dragging gold prices lower. Alternatively, a disappointing report could see gold prices push higher,” Otunuga said.

The Federal Reserve this week stuck to its view that inflation would prove “transitory” and would likely not require a fast rise in interest rates. Following that the Bank of England surprised markets by keeping rates on hold.

Given the Fed’s view and inflationary pressures, gold should find some support at current levels, ANZ analysts said in a note.

The dovish tones struck by these two central banks helped gold shrug off early losses of the week and put it on pace to end the week about 0.5% higher.

Extremely low interest rates to spur economic growth during the pandemic have pushed gold prices to new highs over the last two years, as an easy monetary policy cuts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets.

Elsewhere, spot silver fell 0.1% to $23.75 per ounce. Platinum rose 0.2% to $1,027.84 per ounce and palladium gained 1.1% to $2,022.75 per ounce.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Maju Samuel

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