July 7 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose on Friday and were on track for their first weekly gain in four as the dollar and bond yields fell after weaker US nonfarm payrolls numbers cast doubts over the trajectory of interest rate hikes beyond July yet again.
Spot gold was up 0.8% at USD 1,926.54 per ounce at 2:06 p.m. EDT (1806 GMT). Bullion was up 0.4% so far this week.
US gold futures settled 0.9% higher at USD 1,932.50.
Labor department data showed nonfarm payrolls came in well below expectations last month, but the unemployment rate retreated from a seven-month high amid fairly strong wage gains.
Benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields retreated from a more than four-month peak, while the dollar slipped 0.9% to a more than two-week low after the data, making gold attractive for other currency holders.
Traders stuck to bets the Fed would raise interest rates this month, but were becoming more skeptical of the chance for hikes beyond that.
“Gold remains stubbornly bid – trading higher even before the number. Today’s report has given bulls some relief, at least short term,” said Tai Wong, a New York-based independent metals trader.
“Gold should hold above USD 1,910 but the real test is USD 1,950-60 level where the 100 and 200-day moving averages are converging. The report wasn’t soft enough to warrant that kind of rally today.”
Gold is sensitive to rising US interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
But this comes a day after another set of data showed people filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased only moderately last week, while private payrolls surged in June, showing a strong labor market remained.
Elsewhere, silver gained 1.5% to USD 23.08 per ounce, platinum rose 1% to USD 910.77 and palladium was up 0.6% at USD 1,248.66.
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Deep Vakil; Additional reporting by Seher Dareen and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Jason Neely, Mark Potter, David Evans and Shilpi Majumdar)