Gold hovers near two-and-a-half-month high amid hopes for tapering delay

Bengaluru — Gold prices held steady near a two-and-a-half-month peak on Monday after disappointing US jobs data raised the hope the Federal Reserve could wait a bit longer to pare stimulus measures, bolstering bullion’s appeal as an inflation hedge.

Spot gold was steady at $1,826.82/oz as of 5.33am. In the previous session, prices hit their highest since June 16 at $1,833.80.

US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,829.50.

Gold is being supported by the notion that the Fed will be slower to taper than previously thought, and a weak US dollar, said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

“We are seeing a little bit of resistance at $1,830 emerge.”

Labor department data showed on Friday US nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs last month, below economists’ expectations, as hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector stalled amid a resurgence in Covid-19 infections.

Fed chair Jerome Powell had hinted last month that reaching full employment was a prerequisite for the central bank to start paring back its asset purchases.

Some investors view gold as a hedge against inflation that may follow stimulus measures, while lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

“We expect this upward momentum for gold to continue, which has already been rallying before this poor jobs print. The target for gold is expected at $1,900/oz in the near term,” OCBC Bank economist Howie Lee said in a note.

Friday’s data pushed the dollar index to its lowest level since August 4.

Investors expect the European Central Bank later this week to announce a cut to the pace of its emergency bond purchases from next quarter.

Silver rose 0.1% to $24.72 per ounce. Prices rose 3.4% in the previous session, its biggest one-day percentage gain since early May.

Platinum fell 0.5% to $1,020.75, while palladium rose 0.3% to $2,430.65.