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PRECIOUS-Gold sinks to over 4-month low on early Fed taper bets

Credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

Gold slumped to a more than four-month low on Monday, as strong U.S. jobs data raised expectations for an early tapering of the Federal Reserve's economic support measures.

By Nakul Iyer

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Gold slumped to a more than four-month low on Monday, as strong U.S. jobs data raised expectations for an early tapering of the Federal Reserve's economic support measures.

Spot gold XAU= was down 1.3% to $1,739.16 per ounce at 9:53 a.m. EDT (1353 GMT). U.S. gold futures GCv1 shed 1.1% to $1,744.30.

Silver XAG= was caught in gold's slipstream and slid 7.5% to its lowest in more than eight months, at $22.50 per ounce. It was last down 2.5% at $23.73.

"The sell-off in gold and silver was a prototypical shake out spurred by Friday's strong jobs report as the market then had to price in the Fed being one step closer to reducing asset purchases and potentially raising interest rates sooner previously anticipated," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

Bullion slipped over 2% after data on Friday showed U.S. employers hired the most workers in nearly a year in July.

An interest rate hike would dull non-yielding bullion's appeal versus interest-earning assets.

Bullion slid as much as 4.4% and briefly dropped below $1,700 in early Asian trade, but recovered from those lows with the dollar's rally pausing. USD/

"Strengthening economies, especially in Asia are going to auger for better consumer and commercial demand for gold and silver," potentially stemming their losses, said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with Kitco Metals.

High Ridge's Meger also noted economic data would continue to play a pivotal role in the gold market's expectations of stimulus tapering.

"While the job numbers were strong, if in subsequent reports we don't see quite the same exceptional growth or jobs increase, and some type of more transitory effect in inflation, it will confirm the fact that this was clearly an overdone move in gold," Meger said.

Platinum XPT= rose 0.5% to $985.21 per ounce, having earlier hit its lowest since November 2020. Palladium XPD= was down 0.1% at $2,624.9.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru Editing by Mark Potter)

((nakul.iyer@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: nakul.iyer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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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