BY ONOME AMUGE
Gold retreated into bearish territory at the close of the week as the dollar rose 0.3 percent amid a robust U.S. jobs data which raised concerns of aggressive monetary policy, weighing on the precious metal.
Spot gold was down one percent at $1,848.67 per ounce, while U.S gold futures shed 1.1 percent to $1,850.2 per ounce.
Data of the U.S non-farm payroll showed that employers in the country hired more workers than expected in May and maintained a fairly strong pace of wage increases, signs of labour market strength, analysts said.
With expectations for a rate hike driving gold lower, Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities, said it would translate into higher opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold. Melek however noted that gold is going to continue to be fairly firm considering the current geopolitical crises hampering global economic growth.
With the global economy showing signs of a slowdown owing to the ongoing Ukraine war and the Western sanctions imposed on Russia in response, analysts are optimistic the precious metal will continue to remain in strong demand due to its safe-haven status.
Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares, a Mumbai-based brokerage, remarked that the medium-term outlook for the yellow metal is positive.
ANZ analysts also stressed that the lingering war between Russia and Ukraine will continue to provide a strong level of support for gold prices.
Other precious metals also moved in a bearish direction as spot silver was down 1.9 percent to $21.85 per ounce, losing nearly one percent for the week. Palladium dipped 3.4 percent to $1,983.20 per ounce and was down around 3.8 percent for the week. Platinum shed 1.4 percent to $1,008.35 per ounce, but was up 5.6 per cent for the week, its biggest gain since February 2022.