A gold ingot in Russia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREY RUDAKOV
A gold ingot in Russia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREY RUDAKOV

Gold prices were flat on Monday after weak jobs growth numbers failed to temper expectations that the US Federal Reserve would start paring its stimulus this year.

Spot gold was flat at $1,757.71 per ounce by 5.26am. Prices hit a two-week high of $1,781.20 on Friday after the payrolls data but pared gains during the session.

US gold futures inched 0.1% higher to $1,759.40.

“The payrolls data is not going to do anything to stop the Fed from tapering… Labour shortage is feeding into higher wage pressures and that could worsen inflation even further, which will mean that they’ll eventually have to step in,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

Bullion is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement likely from the widespread stimulus. The Fed’s tapering could tackle both those conditions, diminishing gold’s appeal.

“The gold market is having a lot of trouble making odds and ends of where it should go from here. My personal bias is to the downside, but we’re stuck in a range in the moment,” Rodda said.

The Fed may move to begin reducing its support for the economy next month despite the slowdown in jobs gains last month.

Data on Friday showed US nonfarm payrolls increased by 194,000 jobs in September below economists’ forecast of 500,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-month low of 4.8% and wage gains accelerated.

The dollar index was steady, while benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields touched their highest level since early June on Friday, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.2% to 985.05 tonnes on Friday from 986.54 tonnes on Thursday.

Spot silver rose 0.3% to $22.72 per ounce, while platinum eased 0.1% to $1,025.18.

Palladium gained 2.6% at $2,132.12.

Reuters

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