Gold holds drop after US jobs data support rate-hike outlook

(Aug 8): Gold held its biggest decline in two weeks after strong US jobs growth tempered recession fears, suggesting the Federal Reserve is likely to persist with steep interest-rate hikes to curb inflation.

Bullion dropped 0.9% on Friday as US nonfarm payrolls jumped by more than double what economists had forecast. That spurred gains in the dollar and Treasury yields, reducing the appeal of non-interest-bearing gold.

The data support the case for the Fed to raise its benchmark rate by 75 basis points next month, matching the moves it made in June and July. It also means the central bank may need to keep borrowing costs higher for longer, contrary to market expectations for rate cuts in 2023. US inflation figures later this week will provide more clues on the likely path.

The precious metal has still rallied for the last three weeks, drawing haven support from fears of a global recession and heightened US-China tensions. Beijing has been conducting military drills in the air and seas surrounding Taiwan in the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip there last week.

Spot gold declined 0.1% to US$1,774.13 an ounce as of 9.30am in Singapore. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.1% after rising 0.6% on Friday. Silver and platinum fell, while palladium edged higher.

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