NEW YORK/LONDON: Gold bounced up from a two-month low on Friday, on concerns stoked by a Russian report that North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile and on support from the U.S. dollar's shift into negative territory.
"The Russian report of a looming North Korean missile test that could reach the west coast of the United States combined with a weakening dollar goosed gold from two-month lows," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals trading at BMO Capital Markets in New York.
"Gold has slumped 7 percent over the past month, which is making speculative shorts wary at current levels so we may see $1,300 before $1,250."
The dollar index fell from a 2-1/2-month high.
"The dollar's initial gains evaporated as market participants made a more sober assessment of the jobs report and realized that the sharp rise in average hourly earnings may have been driven by a sizeable drop in low-paid and hurricane-hit jobs rather than an actual rise in earnings," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst for Forex.com.
"As the dollar fell, buck-denominated precious metals went up in value."
Earlier, bullion fell to a two-month low at $1,260.16 an ounce on an upbeat reading of the U.S. unemployment rate and wage growth last month that supported expectations for a further U.S. interest rate hike in December. This pushed the dollar and Treasury yields higher.
Gold prices have fallen 0.5 percent this week and are facing their fourth straight week of decline, the metal's longest run of weekly losses this year.
Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares
Demand for physical gold in India improved slightly this week because of a correction in local prices, but restrictions on the industry and increased smuggling took the sheen off the bullion market.
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