Gold Prices Inch Up in Asia as U.S. Jobs Data Ahead

On Friday, gold prices inched higher in Asia with the jobs statistic in the U.S.observe for indications on the predictions of the Fed Reserve rate hike path in 2017.

Delivery of gold for February on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange eased 0.20 percent to $1.178.95 a troy ounce. Copper futures increased  0.24% to $2.541 a pound.

Later on Friday, nonfarm payrolls data from the U.S. is projected to set the tone for gold as it is sensitive to higher interest rates and a stronger greenback. The Fed Reserve in December forecast as many as three rate hikes in 2017.

On Thursday, suddenly the gold prices rallied to a four week peak, as the  U.S. greenback moves further away from a 14 year high against a basket of major currencies following the release of  the statement from the Federal Reserve.

Minutes from the Fed’s December policy meeting displayed most officials thought the U.S. economy could develop more quickly because of tax reductions and infrastructure expenditure under President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

At the same time, policymakers “emphasized their considerable uncertainty” about future economic policy changes.

The minutes of the meeting also presented that policymakers assumed that Trump’s promises of fiscal stimulus could, if delivered, spur inflation, which would in turn lead to a quicker pace of rate increases this year.

On January 20, 2017, Trump will take office and has yet to plan his economic policies in details.

On Additional News

On Friday, oil prices were steady, as the beginning of supply reductions by Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi supported the market, however, uncertainties that all producers will carry out production cuts agreed on a landmark agreement last year kept the markets from increasing further.

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for international oil prices, were trading at $56.85 per barrel at 0238 GMT, down 4 cents from their close the prior day.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures in the United States were at $53.74 a barrel, two cents below their last agreement.

Thursday’s prices increased after  reports of supply reductions from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi coming into effect as part of efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to curb a global supply surplus.

Overall supply from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the December  drop slightly to 34.18 million barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 34.38 million bpd in November, according to the reports.

Although traders stated oil markets were well supported by the agreed reductions, they said uncertainties remained that all producers would fully implement planned reductions.

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