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Gold above two-month lows as dollar slip; US jobs data in focus

Gold on Wednesday edged up from two-month lows hit in the previous session, as the dollar edged lower and investors waited for nonfarm payroll numbers later this week for clues on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate hike.



Gold on Wednesday edged up from two-month lows hit in the previous session, as the dollar edged lower and investors waited for nonfarm payroll numbers later this week for clues on the timing of a Federal Reserve rate hike.

Spot gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,314.19 per ounce at 0415 GMT. The metal fell 1 percent to hit $1,308.65 on Tuesday, its lowest since June 28.

U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,317.80.

"There is some buying today ... people are taking the view that gold is going to fluctuate within a tight range prior to a strong signal from the Fed," said Richard Xu, fund manager of China`s top gold exchange-traded fund (ETF) HuaAn Gold.

U.S. consumer confidence rose to an 11-month high in August, with households more upbeat about the labour market, in a further sign that the economy was regaining steam after faltering in the first half of the year.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case for higher rates was strengthening, although she gave little clarity on the timing of a move. In an interview on Tuesday, Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said the U.S. job market is nearly at full strength and that the pace of rate increases by the Fed will depend on how well the economy is doing.

The pace of rate hikes is heavily dependent on U.S. economic data. Friday`s nonfarm report for August, as well as other data, could reinforce hawkish messages from Fed officials.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar in which it is priced.

Gold has a strong downside obstacle at $1,304 and an inability to break it may see a relief rally, said Hareesh V, research head at Geofin Comtrade Ltd.

"Slipping past $1,304 will likely trigger a major selloff and probably take prices lower towards $1,280 initially followed by $1,220, where the 200-days moving average support is placed."

The dollar index, measured against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 95.957.

Spot gold may retest a support at $1,308 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below this level, and falling more to the next support at $1,303, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Silver rose 1 percent to $18.77 an ounce.

Platinum was up 0.7 percent at $1,058.90. It touched an eight-week low of $1,048 Tuesday. Palladium rose 0.9 percent after touching a five-week low of $670.72 in the previous session.

 

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