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Gold extends gains on weak U.S. jobs data, growth fears

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 08:44 hrs
Gold

Gold edged higher for a second session on Monday on speculation that the Federal Reserve would slow the pace of its stimulus tapering after a weak U.S. jobs report raised questions over the state of economic recovery.

Some analysts said the gains may not last as the labour market weakness could be due to weather-related issues.

Data on Friday showed that U.S. job creation slowed sharply over the past two months, turning in the weakest performance in three years.

"The fall in the nonfarm payrolls is only a blip. We think the U.S. economic recovery is still on track," said Barnabas Gan, an analyst at OCBC Bank.

"We have a bearish view on gold and expect prices to drop to $1,150 by the end of the year," he said.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,272.10 an ounce by 0742 GMT, after gaining 0.7 percent in the previous session.

Gold, often seen as a safe-haven investment, lost 28 percent of its value last year as the U.S. economy showed continued signs of recovery, prompting the Fed to begin scaling back its bond-buying stimulus measures.

The U.S. central bank has said it aims to finish the tapering by the end of this year.

The Fed is unlikely to reverse the decision to wind down its bond-buying program just because employers hired fewer workers than expected in January, a top bank official said on Friday.

CHINA CONSUMPTION

Consumer demand in China, the biggest bullion consumer, topped 1,000 tonnes for the first time in 2013, an industry body said on Monday.

Chinese demand for jewellery and bullion has been robust since last year due to the slide in prices. However, demand is expected to drop slightly this year from the record levels seen in 2013.

China's gold output in 2013 also reached a record high of 428.16 tonnes, making the country the world's biggest producer for a seventh straight year.

Gold premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange for 99.99 percent purity gold rose to about $12 from $11 on Friday.


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