Gold prices steady at near 2-week low on firmer dollar

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Gold prices held steady around near two-week lows early on Monday, under pressure from a rebound in the U.S. dollar after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data last week.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,257.31 per ounce at 0044 GMT. On Friday, it touched its lowest in more than a week and registered its first weekly decline in four.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,263.00 per ounce.

The dollar stood tall on Monday after an upbeat U.S. jobs report lifted it off 15-month lows, with data lined up this week seen as key to whether the greenback’s rebound could be sustained in the longer term.

U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in July and raised their wages, signs of labor market tightness that likely clears the way for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start shrinking its massive bond portfolio.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest physically backed gold fund, said its holdings fell 0.60 percent to 787.14 tonnes on Friday from 791.88 tonnes on Thursday. Hedge funds and money managers boosted their net long position in COMEX gold for the third straight time to the highest in seven weeks in the week to August 1, and raised it to a record high in copper, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Gold discounts in India widened to their highest in over ten  months and premiums in other major Asian centres edged lower on the back of sluggish demand across markets due to rallying global prices.

SPDR Gold Trust saw its holdings drop more than seven percent in July, as investors dumped bullion for other assets like equities and led it to its biggest monthly decline since April 2013.

Japan’s economy was expected to grow for a sixth straight quarter in April-June, a Reuters poll found on Friday, buoyed by domestic demand as consumer spending recovered and firms
increased their capital investment.

The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Saturday on a U.S.-drafted resolution that aims to slash by a third North Korea’s $3 billion annual export revenue over Pyongyang’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July.

Source: Reuters