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Gold holds steady at near four-month lows

BENGALURU: Gold held steady early Monday, hovering around near four-month lows after stronger than expected US jobs data indicated that the Federal Reserve would maintain its stance on monetary tightening.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,213.16 per ounce at 0051 GMT. Gold fell more than 2 per cent last week and touched its lowest since March 15 on Friday.

US gold futures for August delivery rose 0.3 per cent to $1,212.80 per ounce.US job growth surged more than expected in June and employers increased hours for workers, signs of labor market strength that could keep the Federal Reserve on course for a third interest rate hike this year despite sluggish wage gains.

The US economy continues to churn out jobs and grow at a steady pace, , with investment and consumer confidence both healthy and only moderate signs of risk in financial markets, the US Federal Reserve said on Friday.

Asian stocks rallied on Monday, lifted by Wall Street’s strong performance late last week, while the US dollar extended gains made after much stronger than expected June employment data.

Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.63 per cent to 835.35 tonnes on Friday from 840.67 tonnes on Thursday.

Hedge funds and money managers in the week to July 3 reduced their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver for a fourth straight week, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

The Federal Reserve saw possible risks in the US bond market that include a jump in long-term Treasury yields and money market funds selling out of government and agency debt, according to a central bank report released on Friday.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte Ltd, among the world’s biggest investors, said it was turning cautious and expected returns to slow over the next decade, given high valuations, uncertainty over monetary policy and modest economic growth.