Gold prices held mild gains during Asian trading hours on Thursday, aided by strong demand from China; nevertheless, gains are likely to be capped as investors wait for the non-farm payrolls data, scheduled to be released on Friday. Silver prices also edged higher in trading on Thursday.
The job numbers would provide a fairly good idea over when the Federal Reserve could start tapering its ongoing bond purchase program. In case, job numbers show weakness or modest recovery then the Fed would be disinclined to decelerate its economic stimulating measures.
At last check, U.S. gold futures for August delivery edged up 0.36% to $1,403.50 an ounce while spot gold added 0.12% to $1,404.46 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the government of India’s decision to raise import barriers on gold is also keeping the sentiment subdued. Concerned over widening trade deficit, the Indian government earlier this week decided to hike import duties on gold by a third to 8 percent. The move came after gold imports in May hit 162 tons, which was twice the monthly average of 2011, showed a data provided by Reuters.
Commenting over the demand from world’s two top gold consumers, a Sydney based precious metal traders said to Reuters, “The India news is having an impact but tremendous demand from China is helping.”
“As prices went up to $1,400-$1,405, there were some sellers adding to their shorts and some longs are liquidating as well,” added the trader.
In some other precious metal markets, platinum futures for July contract gained 0.16% to $1,513.00 an ounce while palladium futures for September contract fell 0.26% to $754.50 an ounce, at last check.
Silver futures climbed 0.61% to $22.61 an ounce.
In pre-market trading, the iShares Silver Trust (ETF) (NYSE: SLV
) was up 0.32%, and the ProShares Ultra Silver (ETF) (NYSE: AGQ
) was up 0.04%.