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Gold prices dip in Asia with markets in major buyer China closed

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices eased slightly in Asia on Monday on renewed concerns about the pace of U.S. economic recovery and with markets in major gold buyer China closed for a public holiday.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery traded at $1,302.30 a troy ounce, down 0.09%, after it ended Friday's session with a gain of 1.47%, or $18.90, to settle at $1,303.50 an ounce.

Last week, gold futures rallied more than 1% to end at a one-week high, after weaker than expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls data sparked speculation that the Federal Reserve could start to slow the tapering of its bond purchases.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs in March, below expectations for jobs growth of 200,000. February's figure was revised up to 197,000 from a previously reported 175,000. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%, compared to expectations for a tick down to 6.6%.

The data disappointed some market expectations for a more robust reading but indicated that the Federal Reserve is likely to stick to the current pace of reductions to its asset purchase program.

Gold has been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks as upbeat U.S. economic data underlined expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.

In the week ahead, market players will be focusing on Wednesday's minutes of the Fed's most recent policy setting meeting for further clues on the future course of monetary policy.

Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers decreased their bullish bets in gold futures in the week ending April 1.

Net longs totaled 106,354 contracts, down 11.4% from net longs of 120,042 in the preceding week.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for May delivery fell 0.35% to $19.877 a troy ounce.

Data from the CFTC showed that net silver longs declined to 5,582 contracts as of last week, down 24.9% from net longs of 7,442 in the preceding week.

Meanwhile, copper for May delivery shed 0.92% to $2.995 a pound.

According to the CFTC, net copper shorts totaled 19,778 contracts as of last week, compared to net shorts of 25,034 in the preceding week.

Copper remained supported amid hopes that China will implement economic stimulus measures to shore up slowing growth.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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