Gold edged up on Friday, gaining support from mixed European shares, but remained vulnerable after strong U.S. jobs data lifted the dollar, denting gold’s investment appeal. U.S. employment growth jumped in June and the jobless rate closed in on a six-year low, providing evidence of economic growth heading into the second half of the year.
The data was published a day earlier than usual due to the July 4 Independence Day holiday, which will curb volumes trading throughout the session. The data stoked speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve could hike interest rates earlier than expected.
“At the moment it seems middle of next year (for the Fed to start raising rates) but if the first quarter, as some suggest, becomes consensus then we are going to see gold below $1,300,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
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