Singapore: Gold edged lower on Friday as the market nervously awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, even as the metal headed for a third straight week of losses amid better-performing equities and growing optimism about the U.S. economy.FUNDAMENTALS
* Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to USD 1,284.90 an ounce by 0021 GMT.
* The metal is down 0.7 percent for the week, though it has recovered a little after having hit a seven-week low on Tuesday.
* Investors in gold, which is often seen as a hedge against economic uncertainty, are eyeing the U.S. jobs report later on Friday to gauge the strength of the economy and any potential impact on the Federal Reserve`s stimulus measures.
* A weak report could boost gold`s appeal as a safe-haven, while a strong report could prompt speculation that the Fed could lift rates earlier than previously expected.
* Platinum producer Lonmin has declared force majeure with some contractors at its South African mines due to the effects of a lengthy strike, meaning a drop in business for those suppliers and a growing impact on the economy as a whole.
* Gold premiums in India are expected to fall from current levels of about USD 30 an ounce after the central bank indicated it is considering removing some of the curbs to trade that have crippled imports.MARKET NEWS
* Asian markets settled in for a subdued session on Friday as investors counted down the hours to the U.S. jobs report, while the euro nursed a grudge after the European Central Bank opened the door to more aggressive easing, albeit not just yet.
First Published: Friday, April 4, 2014, 10:01