Gold prices steadied on Friday but were set for a fourth straight weekly drop, as the dollar resumed its rally while focus shifted to U.S. non-farm payroll print that could influence expectations of interest rate hikes.
Spot gold was little changed at 1,740.31 per ounce by 1114 GMT. Bullion has lost nearly 4% so far this week, which would be its worst since mid-June last year.
U.S. gold futures firmed at $1,739.90.
The dollar was set for its second consecutive week of gains, making bullion less attractive for overseas buyers. [USD/]
The payrolls report is due at 1230 GMT. A Reuters poll predicts it rose by 268,000 jobs last month after rising by 390,000 in May.
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“A strong payrolls number and another strong CPI number (next week) will merely serve to drive the dollar higher and gold lower,” but weaker readings could signal a policy shift and reset expectations around the September Fed meeting, said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
On the technical front, gold`s break below the $1,760 level could signal a further slide to $1,720, and potentially the 2021 lows near $1,680, Hewson added.
Two of the Federal Reserve`s most vocal hawks on Thursday said they would support another 75-basis-point rate increase this month and a shift to a slower pace afterward, downplaying recession risks.
Higher rates dent the appeal of non-yielding bullion.
Gold has not been living up to its reputation as a safe haven of late, and the Fed is considering adopting an even more restrictive stance if the high inflation pressure persists, Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said in a note. [US/]
Spot silver fell 0.1% to $19.17 per ounce, while platinum was little changed at $873.16, and both were headed for weekly losses.
Palladium rose 1.2 % to $2,014.84, and was set for its third straight week of gains.