Gold price slides lower with U.S. nonfarm payrolls on tap

New York (July 8)  Gold prices slid lower on Friday, as investors awaited the highly-anticipated U.S. employment report due later in the day, but the precious metal remained close to Wednesday’s two-year peak as concerns over the global impact of the Brexit vote continued to dampen sentiment.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery declined 0.36% to $1,357.35.

The August contract ended Thursday’s session 0.37% lower at $1,362.10 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,339.70, the low from July 5 and resistance at $1,374.90, Wednesday’s high and a two-year peak.

Market participants were eyeing the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due later Friday, for further confirmation of the strength of the job market after upbeat data was released on Thursday, lending support to the U.S. dollar.

The U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 2 decreased by 16,000 to 254,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 270,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 2,000.

In addition, U.S. Payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose 172,000 last month, above forecasts for an increase of 159,000.

The greenback’s gains were capped however after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June policy meeting released on Wednesday showed that policymakers agreed that it was “prudent to wait” for additional data before considering another rate hike.

Meanwhile, demand for the safe-haven precious metal remained supported as Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union continued to fuel uncertainty over the consequences of the U.K. vote on the country’s economy and the global economy as a whole.

Gold has been well supported in recent weeks as expectations mounted that central banks around the world will step up monetary stimulus to counteract the negative economic shock from the Brexit vote.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for September delivery slid 0.76% to $19.688 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery held steady at $2.124 a pound.