Gold prices rose on Friday after the dollar weakened, with investors awaiting the U.S. jobs data to gauge the Federal Reserve’s plans to start tapering asset purchases, although for the week, the metal was headed for its first decline in four.
Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,813.15 per ounce by 0327 GMT, and was down 0.2% on a weekly basis.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,815.50.
The dollar index fell to a one-month low, bolstering gold’s appeal to those holding other currencies. The greenback was headed for second straight weekly decline.
“We’re seeing minor pre-positioning for people that may be wanting to take a punt into the non-farm payroll,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
A weaker number “would be quite positive for gold, cause it reinforces (Fed Chair Jerome) Powell’s more cautious outlook for the U.S. economy… We could see a break below $1,800 threshold if we get a strong print,” Innes added.
Ahead of the Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls report, due at 1230 GMT, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, while layoffs dropped to their lowest level in more than 24 years in August.
Powell had said last week if job growth continues, the central bank could start to cut its asset purchases this year, but would remain cautious in decision to raise interest rates.
While gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, caused by massive stimulus measures, lower interest rates also reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.2% to 998.52 tonnes on Thursday, lowest since April 2020.
Silver rose 0.2% to $23.92 per ounce.
Platinum edged 0.2% higher to $1,001.36. Palladium climbed 0.3% to $2,406.65.