March 2 (Reuters) – Gold prices edged lower on Thursday as the U.S. weekly jobs data hinted at a tight labor market that could keep the Federal Reserve on its rate-hiking cycle, underpinning the dollar and Treasury yields.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,835.03 per ounce by 01:48 p.m. ET (1848 GMT), after rising in the previous three sessions.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.3% lower at $1,840.50.
Data earlier showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment fell again last week.
With a tight labor market largely priced in, the higher dollar and yields were weighing on gold, said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
The dollar index gained 0.6%, making gold more expensive for holders of other currency buyers.
Benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hovered near their highest level since early November 2022, weighing on the bullion since it yields no interest.
The consumer price data next week could offer investors more clues on the path of rates heading into the Fed’s March 21-22 meeting, where it is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points.
“I think the market will have a relief rally after that – every time we get another interest rate behind us, we’re close to the end (of rate hikes),” Streible said.
U.S. central bank officials are divided over whether more restrictive interest rates are needed or just maintain a tight monetary policy for a longer period to tame inflation that was much higher than the Fed’s 2% target.
Elsewhere, data from Spain, France, and Germany earlier in the week indicated that inflation remained sticky, with the European Central Bank leaning towards remaining hawkish.
Spot silver fell 0.8% to $20.83 per ounce, platinum was up 0.7% at $961.43, while palladium edged 0.1% higher to $1,442.05.
(Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Krishna Chandra Eluri)
This article originally appeared on reuters.com