October 1, 2015 / 1:06 AM / in 2 years

PRECIOUS-Gold struggles near 2-week low after strong U.S. data

SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Gold was digesting the
aftermath of a four-day losing streak on Thursday, trading near
its lowest in two weeks, after strong U.S. private-sector jobs
data bolstered views that the Federal Reserve will hike rates
this year.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,115.45 an ounce
by 0040 GMT, not far from a two-week low of $1,111.60 hit in the
previous session. The metal has lost 3.4 percent in the last
four sessions.
    * Data on Wednesday showed U.S. companies hired workers at a
solid clip in September, adding a more-than-expected 200,000
jobs. 
    * Though other data showed factory activity in the U.S.
Midwest contracted, investors cheered the jobs data, sending the
dollar up on hopes of a rate hike this year. 
    * Gold has come under pressure from expectations that the
Fed is set to hike rates this year, potentially lifting the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting
the dollar, in which it is priced.
    * Investors will be watching U.S. non-farm payrolls data due
on Friday for more clues about the strength of the economy and
how it could affect a rate hike timing.
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.48 percent to 687.42
tonnes on Wednesday, but the gain failed to support prices.
 
    * Spot platinum edged up 0.4 percent to $908.15. 
    * The metal had fallen to $894, its lowest since Dec. 2008,
earlier this week on fears that revelations of Volkswagen's
falsification of U.S. vehicle emission tests could affect demand
for diesel cars. 
    * Platinum is widely used in emissions-controlling
automotive catalytic converters, particularly for diesel
engines.    
    * Elsewhere, the global silver-coin market is in the grips
of an unprecedented supply squeeze, forcing some mints to ration
sales and step up overtime while sending U.S. buyers racing
abroad to fulfil a sudden surge in demand. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
 or 
    
    MARKET NEWS
    * Global equities ended their worst quarter since the 2011
euro zone crisis on an upbeat note with a rally on Wednesday on
hopes that Wall Street had bottomed and the commodities rout was
over, while the dollar also rose. 
    
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0100 China NBS non-mfg PMI Sep 
    0100 China NBS manufacturing PMI Sep 
    0145 China Caixin mfg PMI final Sep 
    0145 China Caixin svcs PMI Sep 
    0800 EZ Markit mfg final PMI Sep 
    0830 EZ Sentix index Oct 
    0900 EZ Retail sales Aug 
    1345 U.S. Markit mfg PMI final Sep 
    1400 U.S. Construction spending Aug 
    1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing Sep 
    1730 U.S. Total vehicle sales Sep

    PRICES AT 0040 GMT    
 Metal            Last      Change  Pct chg
                                           
 Spot gold         1115.45    0.85     0.08
 Spot silver          14.5   -0.01    -0.07
 Spot platinum      908.15     3.9     0.43
 Spot palladium     651.75    1.25     0.19
 Comex gold         1115.1    -0.1    -0.01
 Comex silver       14.505  -0.013    -0.09
                                           
 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the
 most active months
 
    

 (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)
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