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Gold prices trend weaker in Asia as investors eye dollar levels

Published 08/10/2016, 09:15 PM
Updated 08/10/2016, 09:16 PM
© Reuters.  Gold eases in Asia
- - Gold eased slightly in Asia on Thursday as investors booked gains and kept an eye on dollar weakness.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold for December delivery eased 0.06% to $1,351.05 a troy ounce.

Silver futures for September delivery rose 0.15% to $20.200 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery edged up 0.23% to $2.178 a pound.

Overnight, gold ticked up on Wednesday, as the dollar fell sharply against a basket of rivals, helping provide a slight boost to the yellow metal in quiet, range-bound trade.

Investors continue to closely monitor U.S. employment data for a gauge on the strength of the labor market, following last Friday's robust jobs report for the month of July. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that job openings rose by 2.0% in June to 5.624 million from a relatively soft revised annualized rate of 5.514 million a month earlier. Analysts expected to see slight increases on the month to 5.588 million.

At the same time, the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed there were 5.1 million hires in June, an increase of 1.7%, offset slightly by 2.9 million quits on the month. The mild increase in monthly job openings was driven by an increase in job postings in the durable goods manufacturing sector.

Over the last several weeks, a host of policymakers on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have indicated that a September interest rate hike could be on the table if the labor market continues to show improvement and inflation moves closer to its targeted goal of 2%. On Wednesday, the CME Group's (NASDAQ:NASDAQ:CME) Fed Watch tool placed the probability of a December rate hike at 37.8%, up from around 30% last week.

Any rate hikes by the Fed this year are viewed as bearish for gold, which struggles to compete with high-yield bearing assets in rising rate environments.

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