Gold prices firmed on Monday after a slower-than-expected U.S. job growth data knocked the dollar and bond yields off their recent highs, as investors brace for this week’s inflation test that could influence the Federal Reserve’s policy path.
* Spot gold was steady at $1,942.33 per ounce by 0130 GMT, off an over three-week low hit in the last session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,977.20.
* The U.S. dollar index fell and benchmark 10-year Treasury yields slid from November highs after the Labor Department’s employment report on Friday showed the U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected in July.
* The new evidence that the labor market is cooling, added to the case that the U.S. central bank’s recent interest rate hike could be the last of its current tightening cycle.
* Data on U.S. consumer prices to be released on Wednesday will be in focus to assess whether more rate hikes are needed to tame down inflation.
* Non-yielding gold is often sought as a safe investment against inflation but tends to lose its sheen when rates rise. * Underlying inflation in the euro zone has probably peaked, pointing to slower growth in other prices too, the European Central Bank said on Friday.
* Premiums on physical gold in China hit a near five-month peak last week on strong retail demand in the top consumer, while a weaker rupee offset the impact of a retreat in local prices in India.
* Venezuela’s gold reserves fell by eight metric tons in the year’s first half, central bank data showed on Friday, continuing a years-long reduction in the reserves amid a prolonged economic crisis.
* Spot silver was down 0.1% at $23.57 an ounce, while platinum added 0.2% to $923.75. Palladium gained 0.5% to $1,262.31.