Gold futures rose on Thursday during Asian trading hours after a widely-watched industry report revealed that the U.S. private sector added far more jobs in December than anticipated and fueled already growing expectations for the Federal Reserve to wind down its stimulus programs this year.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1,225.10 a troy ounce during Asian trading, up 0.07%. On Wednesday gold prices held in a tight range between USD1,224.10 a troy ounce and USD1,225.90 a troy ounce.
The February contract settled at USD1,224.20.
Futures were likely to find support at USD1,215.00 a troy ounce, Monday''s low, and resistance at USD1,247.70, Monday''s high.
Earlier on Wednesday the payroll processor ADP reported that U.S. private-sector nonfarm payrolls rose by 238,000 in December, surpassing consensus forecasts for an increase of 200,000. November’s figure was revised up to a gain of 229,000 from a previously reported increase of 215,000.
The numbers fueled hopes that the official December jobs report due out on Friday will meet or beat expectations as well.
The Federal Reserve has said it will pay close attention to indicators when deciding the fate of its USD75 billion monthly bond-buying program, and Wednesday''s data pumped up expectations for the U.S. central bank to scale down purchases even further this year.
Fed bond purchases aim to prop up the economy by suppressing long-term borrowing costs, weakening the dollar as a side effect as long as they remain in effect, thus making gold an attractive hedge.
Gold and the dollar tend to trade inversely with one another.
Investors were eager for the release of the Federal Reserve minutes from its December policy meeting later in the day.
Meanwhile, silver for March delivery was up 0.04% to trade at USD19.528 a troy ounce, while copper futures for March delivery were down 0.01% and trading at USD3.343 a pou
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