Gold perched near three-mth high ahead of US jobs, eyes best week in four

Gold, trading near its highest since October on Friday, is on track to score its strongest weekly gain in a month as the U.S. dollar is pressured by growing doubts that the Federal Reserve can stick to its interest rate hike campaign.

Reuters| Last Updated: Feb 05, 2016, 06:31 AM IST

MANILA: Gold, trading near its highest since October on Friday, is on track to score its strongest weekly gain in a month as the U.S. dollar is pressured by growing doubts that the Federal Reserve can stick to its interest rate hike campaign.
FUNDAMENTALS
* Spot gold was flat at $1,154.20 an ounce by 0019 GMT, after peaking at $1,157.20 on Thursday, its highest since Oct. 29.
* Gold has gained more than 3 percent so far this week, on course for its biggest such increase since early January. 
* U.S. gold for April delivery eased 0.2 percent to $1,154.70 an ounce.
* A shaky global economy from China to Europe and similarly volatile financial markets elsewhere have lifted buying interest in gold. The momentum increased this week after a key Fed official said there is a need to take into consideration tighter financial conditions and the weakening global outlook in framing U.S. monetary policy.
* That spurred gold bulls, thinking it would be tough for the Fed to raise interest rates again this year after hiking them in December for the first time in nearly a decade.
* Non-interest bearing gold is quite sensitive to U.S. monetary policy. Its recent upturn has prompted some analysts to have a more positive price outlook on the metal many had thought was bound to fall below $1,000 an ounce this year as the U.S. lifts rates. 
* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world`s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, continued to rise along with the gold price, reaching 22.3 million ounces on Thursday, the most since late October.
* Focus on Friday turns to the U.S. employment report and analysts say a stronger-than-expected reading could aid the dollar and stall gold`s rally.
* Economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. nonfarm payrolls to increase by 190,000 in January, after rising by 292,000 in December. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at a 7-1/2-year low of 5 percent.
* Gold could face resistance around $1,160-$1,165, technical analysts say.
* Canada`s Centerra Gold Inc has received the go-ahead from lawmakers in Mongolia to mine the Gatsuurt deposit after a five-year delay, as that resource-rich country looks to bolster its economic activity and gold reserves.