Sept 5 (Reuters) – Gold prices held above the key USD 1,700 per ounce level on Monday, as hopes that the Federal Reserve might slow the pace of rate increases after mixed US jobs data helped offset pressure from a robust dollar.
Spot gold was up about 0.1% at USD 1,712.89 per ounce by 1302 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.1% to USD 1,724.10.
However, trading is expected to be thin with most US markets closed for Labor Day holiday.
Gold had its best day in nearly a month on Friday after US data showed moderate wage growth in August and a rise in the unemployment rate to 3.7% suggested the labour market was starting to loosen.
“Expectations around future Fed rate hikes have softened slightly but the jobs report will have to be paired with a good inflation reading to have any material impact,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“We may see some support for gold above USD 1,700 for now but with the dollar so favoured and central banks not easing off the brake, further downside pressure may still come and a break below USD 1,680 looks very possible.”
The European Central Bank is due to meet later this week, where it is expected to deliver a 75 basis-point interest rate hike to tame record high inflation.
Fed’s next policy meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20-21.
Limiting gold’s advance, the dollar index notched a 20-year high against its rivals, making bullion expensive for holders of other currencies.
European shares tumbled after Russia extended a halt on gas flows down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe, sparking worries over energy prices.
Spot silver rose 0.4% to USD 18.10 per ounce, platinum XPT= gained 1.4% to USD 846.83, while palladium eased 0.1% to USD 2,021.43.
Stronger-than-expected platinum shipments to China in the first half of the year spurred shortages elsewhere, as supply declined from mines and recycling, the World Platinum Investment Council said.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Jane Merriman)