April 10 (Reuters) – Gold retreated below the key USD 2,000 level on Monday as the dollar advanced on Friday’s strong US jobs numbers, while traders also positioned for inflation readings this week that could influence interest rate hikes.
Spot gold fell nearly 1% to USD 1,988.88 per ounce by 1:57 p.m. EDT (17:57 GMT), while US gold futures settled down 1.1% at USD 1,989.10.
US Treasury yields rose following a US jobs report that showed a still strong pace of hiring in March, likely giving room for the Federal Reserve to hike rates again.
Lower yields previously gave metals a reprieve to move higher, but with further rises in energy prices led by oil possible, “rate hikes are still on the table and that can push gold back even further,” said Daniel Pavilonis, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
Chances of a 25-basis point rate hike next month were now pegged at 72%, driving an uptick in the dollar, making dollar-denominated bullion less attractive for holders of other currencies.
Higher interest rates usually dull the appeal of zero-yielding gold, despite its traditional status as an inflation hedge.
Another rate hike could “really box the market in,” with gold likely consolidating in a range, Pavilonis added.
Gold surpassed USD 2,000 last week as weak US services sector and job openings data made a rate hike next month less likely.
The US CPI print is due at 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. ET) on Wednesday, and will be followed later in the day by the minutes from the Fed’s last meeting.
Signs that US disinflation is gathering pace, allowing the Fed to pause rate hikes sooner rather than later, may restore gold to recent highs, said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity.
Silver fell 0.9% to USD 24.78 per ounce, platinum shed 1.5% to USD 992.07, while palladium dropped 3.5% to USD 1,415.19.
(Reporting by Deep Vakil and Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Susan Fenton)