- Gold prices carried Friday''s gains on expectations that a disappointing U.S. jobs report will cue the Federal Reserve to taper its monthly bond-buying program on a very gradual basis into Monday.

Fed bond purchases tend to weaken the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates that make stocks more attractive, thus bolstering gold''s role as a portfolio hedge.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at USD1,275.00 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 0.96%, up from a session low of USD1,265.00 and off a high of 1,277.70.

The April contract settled up 0.45% at USD1,262.90 on Friday.

Futures were likely to find support at USD1,240.60 a troy ounce, the low from Feb. 3, and resistance at USD1,279.20, the high from Jan. 26.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that the economy added 113,000 jobs in January, less than an expected 185,000 increase.

The numbers softened the dollar on Friday and into Monday by stoking expectations that the Federal Reserve will taper its USD65 billion monthly bond-buying program very gradually.

Capping gold''s gains, however, were sentiments that Friday''s jobs figures were not soft enough to prompt the Fed to put a hold on tapering, but rather, just give it reason to tinker with the pace at which it will dismantle the program.

Markets were eager for Fed Chair Janet Yellen to testify before Congress on Tuesday in hopes the nation''s top economist might provide clues on the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

Meanwhile, silver for March delivery was up 0.81% and trading at USD20.098 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery were down 0.52% at USD3.219 a pound.

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