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Gold prices inched up on Thursday and the dollar traded weak, as investors awaited the U.S. initial jobless claims report due later today and the all-important nonfarm payrolls report due Friday for clues about the Fed’s timelines for asset tapering and interest rate hikes.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,816.88 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,819.25.

The dollar was close to its weakest in nearly one month as weak ADP private payrolls data eased concerns over an immediate tapering of the Fed’s bond buying program.

Payroll processor ADP said U.S. private sector employment climbed by 374,000 jobs in August after rising by a downwardly revised 326,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 613,000 jobs compared to the addition of 330,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The ADP data serves a precursor to much anticipated nonfarm payrolls data, which will be released on Friday.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week the labor market recovery would determine when the central bank would start cutting asset purchases.

Eurostat data released earlier today showed that Eurozone producer price inflation accelerated further in July on higher energy prices.

Producer prices increased 12.1 percent year-on-year in July, faster than the 10.2 percent rise seen in June. Economists had forecast an annual growth of 11 percent.

On a monthly basis, producer price inflation rose to 2.3 percent in July from 1.4 percent in June. The rate of growth was well above economists’ forecast of 1.1 percent.


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