Gold price climbs as weak US jobs data boosts rate pause chances

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Gold prices climbed more than 1% on Thursday after data showed US weekly jobless claims surged last week, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve will pause its tightening cycle.

Spot gold was up 1.4% to $1,967.01 per ounce by 11:30 a.m. EDT, its highest in a week. US gold futures gained 1.2% in New York, trading at $1,980.90 per ounce.

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The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged last week, new data showed, suggesting that the US labour market is slowing amid mounting risks of a recession.

“This data shows a further weakness in the US economy, which is good news for gold as it will allow the Fed to be on hold,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, told Reuters.

“If we get further softness in inflation, if the Fed holds and they really don’t signal a strong likelihood of a hike for the next meeting, then there is a good case for gold to edge higher,” he added.

Following the jobs data, the dollar slipped 0.4% to a near one-week low against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders, while benchmark US 10-year Treasury yields tumbled.

Money market participants now see a 76% chance that the Federal Reserve will skip raising interest rates at its policy meeting next week, up from nearly 66% earlier, according to the CME’s Fedwatch tool.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty and you could see it in gold prices, if yields really start to back off here, then gold could move much higher,” Daniel Pavilonis, senior market strategist, RJO Futures, said.

(With files from Reuters)