Gold flat as US jobs data points to more rate hikes


Gold prices were steady on Monday, after dropping about 1% in the previous session, following a robust U.S. jobs report that signalled more interest rate increases this year, weighing on non-yielding bullion.

FUNDAMENTALS


* Spot gold was flat at $1,850.60 per ounce, as of 0041 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,853.60.

* The Federal Reserve is on track for half a point interest rate increases in June, July, and perhaps even beyond as fresh job market data showed no sign the U.S. economy is buckling under the pressure of high inflation and rising borrowing costs.

* Gold dropped on Friday after data showed U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in May and maintained a fairly strong pace of wage increases.

* Investors ramped up their bets on European Central Bank interest rate rises this year, and priced in a bigger, 50 basis-point hike at one of the bank’s policy meetings by October.

* Higher rates raise the opportunity cost of holding gold, which yields no interest.

* South African precious metals miner Sibanye Stillwater

said on Friday that trade unions leading a strike at its gold operations had a mandate from their members to accept a three-year wage deal.

* Ghana’s gold production fell 30% last year to its lowest in more than a decade, knocking the country off its spot as Africa’s top producer, the president of the mines chamber said on Friday.

* Gold discounts widened in India last week as demand faltered due to a rise in prices and a winding up of wedding season, while consumers remained wary of purchasing bullion in top consumer China amid a gradual relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.

* In other metals, platinum firmed 0.2% to $1,015.99 and palladium climbed 0.9% to $1,993.52. Silver rose 0.1% to $21.92 per ounce.



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