Gold gains in Asia with central bank meeting eyed
Gold prices rose in Asia on Monday with key central bank meetings to dominate sentiment during the week.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures rose 0.31% to $1,205.15 a troy ounce, coming off a nearly 2% drop for the week ended March 10. Also on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery jumped 0.73% at $17.047 a troy ounce, while copper futures were quoted at $2.605 a pound. The red metal recorded a loss of 3.7% for the week ended March 10.
In Japan, core machinery orders for January slumped 8.2% year-on-year, compared with a 3.3% drop seen and dipped 3.2% month-on-month, compared to a 0.5% increase expected. USD/JPY rose 0.05% to 114.86 after the data.
Global financial markets will be busy with central bank meetings in the week ahead, with policy decisions due in the U.S., Japan, the U.K and Switzerland. Investors will also keep an eye out for headlines coming out of a two-day meeting of G20 central bankers and finance ministers in Germany for further hints on the strength of the global economy and the future direction of monetary policy.
Last week, gold prices settled lower for the ninth session in a row on Friday, after strong U.S. employment data reinforced expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike next week.
The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February from the prior month, as the construction sector recorded its largest gain in nearly 10 years due to unseasonably warm weather, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7% from 4.8% in January, even as more people rushed into the labor market.
But average hourly earnings rose just 0.2% in February from a year earlier, below expectations for a 0.3% rise. The small gain lifted the year-on-year increase in earnings to 2.8%, disappointing some investors.
U.S. short-term interest rate futures were little changed following the employment report, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool, underscoring the likelihood that the U.S. central bank will raise rates next week and two more times in 2017.