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Gold nurses losses

  • SOURCE: | qwesa2big
  • 1.8838576Gold nursed losses on Monday, after a strong U.S. jobs report triggered speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than expected.


    * Spot gold eased 0.1 percent to $1,220.60 an ounce by 0038 GMT, after dropping 0.8 percent on Friday.

    * Nonfarm payrolls rose by 215,000 last month, higher than expectations of 205,000, underscoring the strength in the U.S. economy.

    * U.S. interest rate futures suggested traders are now betting the Fed will next raise rates as soon as November, versus December ahead of the report.

    * Wall Street’s top banks held firm to their expectation for a rate hike in June and expect a total of two hikes this year, a stance little changed from a month ago, according to a Reuters survey conducted on Friday.

    * The dollar, however, was on the defensive despite the robust report, a factor that could support gold if the weakness persists.

    * Gold posted its biggest quarterly rise in nearly 30 years in the March quarter, rallying 16 percent as expectations faded that the Fed would move to normalize interest rates due to concerns over the global economy. The U.S. central bank raised rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade.

    * Investor positioning in gold is largely bullish. Hedge funds and money managers boosted their bullish bet in gold in the week to March 29, to the highest since the end of 2012, as traders speculated over the timing of interest rate hikes, U.S.

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

    * Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.15 percent to 818.09 tonnes on Friday, but remain near the highest in over two years.


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