Gold Up, But Avoids Big Moves Ahead Of U.S. Employment Data

Gold was up on Friday morning in Asia, but investors avoided big bets ahead of the release of critical U.S. employment data that could sway the U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent hawkish stance on monetary policy.

Gold futures edged up 0.18% to $1,780 by 9:50 PM ET (1:50 AM GMT), after falling 0.2% so far in the past week. The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched up on Friday towards three-month highs.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker suggested that cutting asset purchases by $10 billion a month might be reasonable and added that he favored starting the process in 2021, according to a report.

The U.S. jobs report for June, including non-farm payrolls, will be released later in the day. Investors also continued to digest data released on Thursday that said the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing PMI was a slightly lower-than-expected 60.6 in June and a lower-than-forecast 364,000 initial jobless claims were filed throughout the past week. U.S. layoffs also fell to a 21-year low in June.

On the stimulus front, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved a $715 billion surface transportation and water infrastructure bill on Thursday. The approval is a first step towards approving the bill, which Congress targets completing by September 2021.

Some investors are now placing bets that U.S. government bond yields will stay subdued or continue weakening in the second half of 2021.

Meanwhile, Bolivia’s government is looking to stabilize a 2020 fall in its economy not seen in over half a century through spending, COVID-19 vaccines and the yellow metal.

In other precious metals, silver was little changed at $26 per ounce while platinum was steady at $1,082.58, and both were down for the week. Palladium inched down 0.1% but was set for a second consecutive weekly gain.

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