NEW YORK: Gold prices rose more than 2% on Thursday after the dollar fell on dismal US weekly jobs numbers, but recent declines driven by expectations the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering its economic support kept bullion on track for a quarterly drop.
Spot gold rose 2.2% to $1,763.43 per ounce by 11:17 am ET (1517 GMT). US gold futures climbed 2.1% to $1,759.30.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased last week, data showed on Thursday, which could raise concerns that the labour market is softening.
“This is also leading to uncertainty about Fed tapering because they want a strong job market to announce a tapering,” independent consultant Robin Bhar said, adding that any delay could be positive for gold.
Gold is also “running into some renewed physical buying, with some investors looking to hedge against the economic uncertainty, rising inflation”, Bhar said.
Also providing some respite to gold, the benchmark 10-year yield eased slightly, though it held above 1.5%.
But heightened prospects for Fed tapering, widely expected to start in November, and chances of Treasury yields continuing to gain, are expected to heap more pressure on zero-yielding gold, said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity. Reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate increases tend to push government bond yields higher, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.