Gold trades near one-week low

New York (Mar 4)  Gold traded above a one-week low as investors cut holdings in bullion-backed funds to the lowest in a month before U.S. jobs data. Palladium fell for the first time in eight days.

Holdings in exchange-traded products fell for a fifth day, declining by 1.8 metric tons to 1,667.9 tons, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Assets have fallen since reaching the highest since October last week.

A private report from the ADP Research Institute Wednesday may show U.S. companies added more workers to payrolls in February, while the Labor Department will release jobs data on March 6. Signs of a stronger U.S. economy have backed the case for higher interest rates, curbing gold’s appeal as the metal generally gives returns only through price gains.

“Any improvement on the last payrolls reading or any signs that the U.S. recovery is gaining pace is probably negative for gold,” Jonathan Butler, a precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corp. International (Europe) Plc in London, said by phone.

Gold for April delivery was little changed at $1,203.90 an ounce by 7:54 a.m. on the Comex in New York. It reached $1,194.60 on Tuesday, the lowest value since Feb. 24. Bullion for immediate delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,204.78, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

Futures trading volumes in New York were 41 percent below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Silver for May delivery was little changed at $16.30 in New York, after falling to the lowest in almost two months Tuesday. Platinum futures declined 0.7 percent to $1,181.20 an ounce. Palladium retreated 0.7 percent to $826.20 an ounce. It climbed 6.5 percent in the previous seven days in the longest run since October.

Source: Mineweb