Gold softened after hitting a more than one-week high earlier on Monday as US Treasury yields firmed, but inflation concerns helped keep prices above key support at $1,750 as investors’ attention turned to upcoming jobs data.
Spot gold was down 0.4% at $1,752.60 per ounce by 1216 GMT, reversing an initial climb to its highest since Sept. 23 at $1,765.54 during the Asian session. US gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,753.30.
“Gold will track moves in US yields, while risk appetite will continue to provide short-term direction in terms of safe-haven demand ahead of the US nonfarm payrolls report on Friday,” said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.
The report, expected to show a continued improvement in the labor market, could influence the Federal Reserve’s timeline for tapering economic support.
Hence, “investors are in a wait-and-see mode,” and any indication about the timing of the next decision from the Fed could offer new direction to gold, Kinesis Money analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said.
Reduced central bank stimulus and interest rate increases lift bond yields, raising the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing gold.
But while gold is slipping off the highs reached on Friday, it could benefit as investors remain worried about the fallout from China’s Evergrande crisis and rising energy prices, considering the risks to global economic growth, Evangelista added.
Bullion is considered a hedge against rising inflation and financial instability.
Recent data showed euro zone inflation hit a 13-year high last month, while US consumer spending surged in August.
Gold seemed to largely ignore a retreat in the dollar, an unusual occurrence as a lower dollar makes gold cheaper for those holding other currencies.
Silver fell 0.7% to $22.36 per ounce, platinum was down 1.9% at $953.09, and palladium dropped 0.7% to $1,906.22. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel and Jan Harvey)