Gold dips in Asia ahead of US nonfarm payrolls

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    Investing.com - Gold dipped in Asia on Friday with nonfarm payrolls ahead expected to set dollar direction seen as crucial for overseas buyers from major importers such as India and China.

    Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.39%, to $1,266.89 a troy ounce.

    Overnight, Gold prices traded slightly below break even but remained close to seven-week highs on Thursday as investors awaited nonfarm payrolls data for clues about the strength of the economy amid a dip in expectations the Federal Reserve will keep to its plan to raise rates once more this year.

    Gold struggled to for direction in early morning U.S. trade, as investors remained cautious of initiating large positions in the yellow-metal ahead of nonfarm payroll data on Friday, expected to provide further clues on the outlook for interest rate increases.

    Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

    Gold has edged higher in recent weeks, as investor uncertainty concerning the pace of U.S. interest rate increases continued amid a raft of mixed economic data fuelling expectations that the Federal Reserve could backtrack on its plan to raise rates later this year.

    The U.S. labor market continued to show signs of tightening, after initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 240,000 for the week ended July 29, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

    The upbeat initial jobless claims data steadied the dollar, adding pressure on dollar-denominating currency.

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