Gold flat as dollar holds firm ahead of US jobs data

Gold flat as dollar holds firm ahead of US jobs data
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BENGALURU (Oct 7): Gold prices were flat on Thursday as the dollar held firm, as investors moved to the sidelines ahead of a U.S. payrolls report that is expected to provide clues on the Federal Reserve's tapering timeline.

Spot gold was flat at $1,761.36 per ounce by 0118 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,763.10.

The dollar held close to a one-year high, touched last week, making gold less appealing to those holding other currencies.

Overnight, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries eased off a more than three-month high, but remained above 1.5%.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, due on Friday, is expected to show an improvement in the labour market, important criteria for the Federal Reserve to start withdrawing pandemic-era support for the economy.

Reduced stimulus and higher interest rates lift bond yields, translating into increased opportunity costs of holding bullion that pays no interest.

Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in September as COVID-19 infections started subsiding, boosting hiring at restaurants and other high-contact businesses.

The U.S. Senate appeared near to a temporary deal to avert a federal debt default in the next two weeks, after Democrats said they might accept a Republican proposal to defuse the partisan standoff that threatens the broader economy.

Spot silver was unchanged at $22.59 per ounce, platinum fell 0.2% to $982.01, and palladium rose 0.6% to $1,899.73.