January 6, 2017 / 10:57 AM / in 7 months

PRECIOUS-Gold slips from one-month high after U.S. data; palladium rises

3 Min Read

* Payrolls data lifts dollar, weighing on gold
    * Spot gold on track to end the week up nearly 2 pct
    * Palladium hits five-week high, on track for 11 pct weekly
gain

 (Adds comment, updates prices, adds comment, byline, NEW YORK
dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Peter Hobson
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on
Friday from the previous day's one-month high as the dollar
strengthened on a solid U.S. jobs report, while palladium was on
track for its largest weekly gain since March on record high
U.S. car sales.
     U.S. non-farm payrolls data that showed a slowing in hiring
last month but an increase in wages, supported the view that the
U.S. Federal Reserve will press ahead with interest rate
increases this year, analysts said. 
    Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at $1,171.70 an ounce
by 2:51 p.m. EST (1951 GMT), but up 1.75 percent on the week,
its biggest weekly rise in two months.
    But with markets uncertain ahead of U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, investors turned
cautious after gold reached its highest since Dec. 5 at
$1,184.90 on Thursday.
    "Any profit that can be booked at this early stage is
welcomed by most, so that's why we're seeing a scaling back a
bit," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.
    U.S. gold futures settled down $7.9, or 0.67
percent, at $1,173.4 per ounce. 
    Non-farm payroll data showed that the United States added
fewer-than-expected jobs in December, though a rebound in wages
pointed to further interest rate rises from the Fed.
 
    Higher interest rates exert downward pressure on the gold
price by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion.
    Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said the central bank
could raise rates three times this year if economic data comes
in a bit stronger than he expects, while Richmond Fed President
Jeffrey Lacker said it may have to raise interest rates quicker
than markets currently predict.  
    "For 2017, we think we are starting from a clean base,
leaving room for seasonal drivers to breathe some life back into
the yellow metal," said Christopher Louney, commodity strategist
for RBC Capital Markets, in a note.
    "In fact, in our seasonality analysis we observe both the
strongest and most consistent positive price performance during
Q1 over the last 11 years."
    Among other precious metals, palladium hit a
five-week high of $757.70 an ounce before slipping back to
$756.10, up 2.4 percent.
    The metal used in vehicle catalysts to clean exhaust
emissions has risen 11 percent this week, its biggest gain since
March, driven by high U.S. sales of new cars and trucks hit a
record high in 2016.  
    Spot silver was down 0.7 percent at $16.46, while
platinum was 0.7 percent lower at $961.35, though it was
on track for a gain of 6.8 percent this week, its strongest
since July.

 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;
editing by David Goodman and Marguerita Choy)

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