Gold prices hang in balance ahead of key jobs data

Gold prices are stuck in a tight range, not moving much. The focus is on the upcoming U.S. jobs data, which could reveal hints about what the Federal Reserve might do with its monetary policy next.

A stronger dollar has been keeping gold on a path for its first weekly drop in four weeks.

At the time of writing, an ounce of gold (XAU/USD) was trading at $2,029.36. For the week, though, gold has slipped by about 1.5%.

The precious metal hit a record high of $2,135.40 on Monday, with many thinking the Federal Reserve would be cutting interest rates very soon. But then it took a nosedive of over $100 because no one is sure when that rate cut might happen.

Traders are keen to understand how the Federal Reserve will adjust its monetary policy in the next meeting, with today’s job data as one of the main indicators.

The forecast for the U.S. non-farm payrolls report for November is due at 13:30 GMT today, expected to show that around 180,000 jobs were added last month. If the numbers come in much lower than expected, this could be bearish for the US dollar. The dollar index is up by 0.2%, ending a three-week losing streak. This makes gold more expensive for those with other currencies.

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According to CME’s FedWatch Tool, there’s a 60% chance of a U.S. rate cut as soon as March. When rates are lower, it makes gold more attractive to hold. So, what the Federal Reserve decides will likely have a big impact on where gold prices go.