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SINGAPORE: Gold prices edged down in Asian trade on Wednesday, on track for their biggest monthly decline since November 2016, as upcoming US jobs data and taper talks from the US Federal Reserve kept investors on the sidelines.

Spot gold eased 0.3% to $1,755.70 per ounce by 0846 GMT, having touched its lowest since April 15 at $1,749.20 on Tuesday. US gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,756.70.

Bullion prices are down about 8% for the month, weighed down by the Fed’s sudden hawkish shift. But they are up nearly 3% for the quarter.

Equity markets remains strong as the economy recovers, and “that’s something which potentially will be a drag on gold”, as it is considered as safe haven assets, UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said, adding, bullion could drop towards $1,600 by the end of the year.

Investors are also eyeing the non-farm payrolls on Friday, which if comes out strong, could further pressurise gold, Staunovo added.

Meanwhile a “very optimistic” Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller on Tuesday said the US central bank may need to start dialling down its massive asset purchase programme as soon as this year to allow the option of raising interest rates by late next year.

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