Gold heads for biggest weekly loss in a month

Source : REUTERS
By : A. Ananthalakshmi
Last Updated: Fri, Aug 02, 2013 04:06 hrs
An employee arranges gold jewellery in the counter as her arm is reflected in the mirror at a gold shop in Wuhan

Gold fell for a fifth session on Friday, heading for its biggest weekly loss in a month as strong U.S. economic data raised fears the Federal Reserve may start to taper its commodities-supportive stimulus measures.

Positive jobless benefits and factory activity data followed stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP numbers this week. The Fed has said its policy remains driven by data, even though it gave no signs in a statement on Wednesday that it was set to wind down its $85 billion monthly bond-buying measures.



"We are still expecting the Fed to taper its QE in September," said Barnabas Gan, an analyst at OCBC Bank, referring to quantitative easing.

"The labour data, along with GDP, is pretty positive and allows for the Fed to taper this year."

Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,306.15 an ounce by 0333 GMT, bringing losses this week to 2 percent.

U.S. gold slipped about $6 to $1,305.70.

Gold traders are now waiting for U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due later on Friday.

U.S. employers likely hired enough workers in July to push the jobless rate to near its lowest level in more than four years and bring the Fed within months of paring back its stimulus program, economists polled by Reuters said.

"If the report is bullish, gold prices will continue to see downward pressure," said Gan, who expects gold prices to fall to $1,250 by the end of the year.

Spot gold is expected to drop to $1,284 per ounce, as it has broken a support at $1,308, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.7 percent to 921.05 tonnes on Thursday, hitting fresh four year lows.

Outflows from the top eight gold ETFs tracked by Reuters have totalled 19 million ounces so far this year, or about $25 billion at current prices.

Physical demand, however, has held up reasonably well despite the volatility in prices.

Premiums over London spot prices, one of the best measures of physical demand, were about $23 an ounce in China, which is set to overtake India as the top gold consumer this year.

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