March 10 Gold prices dropped below the key level
of $1,200 an ounce on Friday to hit their lowest in over five
weeks, pressured by a stronger dollar ahead of U.S. jobs data
later in the day.
* Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,197.90 per
ounce at 0118 GMT, after touching its weakest since Jan. 31 at
$1,197.02 earlier in the session. The metal was set for a weekly
loss of about 2.8 percent.
* U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to $1,198.10 an
* The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 101.94.
* Investors are waiting for February non-farm payrolls data
on Friday as a barometer of the U.S. economy after Federal
Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the central bank was
poised to lift rates provided jobs and inflation data held up.
Her comments were seen as cementing plans for an increase at the
Fed's March 14-15 meeting.
* The ADP National Employment Report showed its biggest
increase in over a year in February, suggesting the U.S. economy
remains on solid ground.
* The Fed will raise interest rates next week in response to
a series of strong economic data, according to all of more than
100 economists polled by Reuters, with two more hikes likely to
follow later this year.
* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
last week rebounded from a near 44-year low, but the labour
market continues to tighten amid a sharp drop in job cuts in
* Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.32 percent on Thursday.
* A supply deficit in platinum markets is expected to
persist this year, an industry report showed on Thursday, but
the shortfall is seen shrinking for a fourth consecutive year as
declining investment and jewellery buying outweigh lower supply.
* The European Central Bank pledged on Thursday to keep its
aggressive stimulus policy in place at least until the end of
the year, but signaled a diminishing urgency for more policy
action, enough to send the euro and bond yields higher.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0700 Germany Trade data Jan
0700 Germany Wholesale price index Feb
0745 France Industrial output Jan
0930 Britain Industrial output Jan
1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls Feb
1330 U.S. Unemployment rate Feb
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph