Gold eased on Friday as the dollar and Treasury yields edged higher, but prices were on course for their best week in three as hopes of more U.S. stimulus underpinned the metal.
Spot gold dipped 0.3% to $1,820.73 per ounce by 0245 GMT. Prices were up 0.5% so far this week.
U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,821.10. “The U.S. jobs numbers sort of talked some sense of inflation risk out of the market and that may have weighed on gold,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.
U.S. jobless claims fell slightly last week but were stuck at elevated levels.
“The bigger picture should be positive for gold because of the current monetary and fiscal policy mix, but despite all the tailwind gold’s just grinding lower, so it’s not a very constructive view for the time being,” Rodda said.
Trading remained muted as many parts of Asia remained closed for the Chinese new year holiday. The dollar and benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields ticked higher, reducing gold’s appeal.
U.S. President Joe Biden plans to ask Congress this month to invest heavily in infrastructure after his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package makes its way through.
Gold remains supported “as the spectre of stimulus measures in the U.S. rises,” ANZ analysts said in a note. Spot platinum fell 1.9% to $1,211.01 an ounce as investors booked some profits after prices scaled an over 6-year peak of $1,268.88 on Thursday.
But the autocatalyst metal was set to post its best week since early December, with a gain of 7.6%. “Sentiment remains strong,” ANZ said, adding stricter global emission rules and a disruption at a major refinery in largest producer South Africa should keep the metal in deficit this year.
Silver fell 0.2% to $26.89 and palladium was steady at $2,344.38.
Main Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN