Gold Trades Near Six-Week Low Before U.S. Employment Data

Gold was little changed near a six-week low in New York, set for a third weekly loss, before a U.S. jobs report that may show the economy is strengthening.

A report may show today U.S. employers added more than 200,000 jobs for a sixth month after data showed yesterday a four-week average of jobless claims sank to an eight-year low. Bullion slipped 3 percent in July as the dollar gained the most since May 2013 against a basket of 10 major currencies.

Gold slid 28 percent last year on expectations an improving economy would warrant less debt purchases and higher interest rates. The Federal Reserve said this week it will trim bond buying for a sixth time. The metal fell a third day yesterday, even as global equities tumbled amid disappointing corporate earnings and concern about an Argentinian default.

After yesterday’s data, “the thought seemed to be that the U.S. economy is still on the right track,” David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron Group in London, said in a report today. “There was some physical demand around, although nothing overly exciting. This morning will be all about waiting for the employment numbers. If it is a good figure, then the precious complex will see another bout of selling.”

Gold for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,284.30 an ounce by 7:37 a.m. on the Comex in New York. It reached $1,281.30 yesterday, the lowest since June 19, and is down 1.6 percent this week. Gold for immediate delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,283.83 an ounce in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

Futures trading volume was 39 percent below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bullion reached a three-month high on July 10 as tension over Ukraine and in the Middle East spurred haven demand.

Silver for delivery in September fell 0.4 percent to $20.34 an ounce in New York. Platinum for delivery in October fell 0.3 percent to $1,460.70 an ounce. Palladium for delivery in September fell 0.6 percent to $868.65 an ounce. It rose the past six months in the longest such run since January 2011 and reached a 13-year high of $890 on July 17.

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