Gold set for largest weekly gain since March amid mixed US data

Gold steadied in Asia to be on track for the largest weekly gain since March, even as the outlook for the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate path remains uncertain amid mixed US data.

The precious metal crossed the $1,700 mark this week, after the strong dollar and surging Treasury yields saw it slow below that level last month. Still, fresh US data on Thursday – which showed weekly initial jobless claims rising more than forecast – did little to bolster sentiment.

The greenback rose after the release, hurting bullion which is priced in the US dollar.

The latest hawkish comments from Fed officials committed to crushing inflation with rate hikes also strengthened the greenback and Treasury yields.

US nonfarm payrolls data due later Friday may prove key by offering clues on the likely tightening trajectory. The labour market currently shows a mixed picture, with some signs of moderation while still remaining robust.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,711.84 an ounce as of 7.49am in Singapore, after slipping 0.2 per cent in the previous session. It was up more than 3 per cent for the week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was also steady, following Thursday’s 0.7 per cent gain. Silver, platinum and palladium edged down.

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