Gold futures edged higher on Monday, as traders trimmed bets the Federal Reserve will start to raise interest rates in the first half of next year.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery tacked on 0.03%, or 40 cents, to trade at $1,295.20 a troy ounce during European morning hours. Prices held in a narrow range between $1,292.50 and $1,296.30.
Gold ended Friday’s session up 0.94%, or $12.00, to settle at $1,294.80 an ounce after hitting a six-week low of $1,281.00 earlier in the day.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,281.00, the low from August 1 and resistance at $1,314.60, the high from July 29.
The U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that non-farm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 209,000 in July, below expectations for an increase of 233,000.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% last month from 6.1% in June. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to hold steady at 6.1% in July.
The disappointing jobs report dampened optimism over the strength of the labor market and reduced expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.
Gold has been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks as an improving U.S. economy fuelled speculation that the Fed will hike interest rates sooner than expected, which would reduce the need for gold for use as a hedge against loose monetary policy.
Also on the Comex, silver for September delivery picked up 0.18%, or 3.7 cents, to trade at $20.40 a troy ounce.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery dipped 0.17%, or 0.5 cents, to trade at $3.209 a pound.