Gold rises as traders await U.S. employment data

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The gold It was stable in a narrow range on Friday as cautious investors scoured central bank statements and prepared for the release of U.S. nonfarm payrolls.

After losing nearly 2 percent in the previous session, spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,915.42 an ounce at 0930 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,929.70.

The dollar was down 0.1 percent against a basket of six major currencies, making gold a more attractive bet, though bullion was still down 0.6 percent on the week, on track for its biggest weekly decline since mid-November.

A day after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points (bps), the European Central Bank and the Bank of England did the same by 50 bps each, in line with expectations.

Gold tends to rise when rates are expected to fall, because it reduces the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing bullion.

“For gold to continue to rise, a new catalyst is needed and central banks have told us more or less what markets expected … and that’s why gold is taking a breather,” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, outside analyst at Kinesis Money.

Investors are now waiting for the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for January, which is expected to show 185,000 job creation after a 223,000 increase in December, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

In other precious metals, silver cash was up 0.2 percent at $23.52 an ounce; the platinum gained 0.5 per cent to $1,026.66; and the palladium improved 2.3 per cent to $1,692.11.

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