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Gold Prices Pull Further Back From 9-Month Highs

CommoditiesFeb 04, 2019 08:26AM ET
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© Reuters. - Gold prices were lower to start the week on Monday, pulling further away from a more than nine-month high as the U.S. dollar strengthened following an upbeat jobs report which highlighted strength in the domestic economy.

A stronger dollar can be a negative for commodities priced in the currency, making them more expensive to users of other currencies.

Comex gold futures were at $1,315.75 a troy ounce by 8:25AM ET (13:25 GMT), down $6.25, or around 0.5%. It hit its highest level since June 14 at $1,331.10 on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, spot gold was trading at $1,311.69 per ounce, down $5.96 on the day.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, hovered near a one-week high amid indications of underlying strength in the world's largest economy.

Data released on Friday showed that U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months.

The jobs report, along with stronger-than-expected ISM manufacturing data, eased concerns over a slowdown in the U.S. economy, leading traders to trim expectations the Federal Reserve would need to cut interest rates to support the economy later this year.

"Upbeat non-farm payroll suggests the U.S. economy is riding a strong momentum, dampening demand for safe-haven assets like gold," said Margaret Yang, a market analyst with CMC Markets.

Political rhetoric could hang over the market in the coming week, as investors await U.S. President Donald Trump's annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday.

This week is also peppered with a handful of appearances from Federal Reserve officials, most importantly Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday, as investors look for further hints into the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead.

The Fed last week signaled that its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy is close to an end due to rising headwinds to the economy.

In other metals trading, silver futures shed 20.8 cents, or about 1.3%, to trade at $15.72 a troy ounce.

Palladium futures were little changed at $1,313.55.

Platinum was down roughly 0.7% at $821.05.

Elsewhere, March copper dipped 0.5% to $2.760 a pound.

Metal trading activity is likely to be subdued with top consumer China closed all week for the Lunar New Year holiday.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

Gold Prices Pull Further Back From 9-Month Highs

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