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Mon 5 Nov 2012 11:34 AM

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Gold firms after US jobs report sparked sell-off

Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to US$1,680.11 an ounce by 0252 GMT, recovering from a two-month low

Gold firms after US jobs report sparked sell-off
Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to US$1,680.11 an ounce by 0252 GMT, recovering from a two-month low.

Gold nudged a touch higher on Monday, paring falls after stronger-than-expected US jobs data dampened hopes for additional monetary easing and sent gold to a two-month low in the previous session.

US employers stepped up hiring in October and a small increase in the jobless rate was due to more workers restarting their job hunts, adding to evidence that the economic recovery is gaining traction.

More monetary stimulus would not be necessary if the economy can stand up on its own, which would deal a blow to gold, which rode to near US$1,800 an ounce last month on stimulus measures taken up by central banks.

Rampant cash printing by central banks increases gold's appeal as investors worry about currency debasement and inflation as a result of quantitative easing.

"In the short term gold may hover around Friday's low, but there isn't much room on the downside as easing monetary policy is still a global trend," said Li Ning, an analyst at Shanghai CIFCO Futures.

Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to US$1,680.11 an ounce by 0252 GMT, recovering from a two-month low of US$1,673.94 an ounce on Friday.

US gold gained 0.3 percent to US$1,680.30.

Technical analysis suggested that spot gold may hover above a support at US$1,678 during the day before breaking this level and falling more to US$1,666, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.

A stronger dollar weighed on gold's rebound. The greenback rose to its highest in nearly two months against a basket of currencies, as investors sought safe haven ahead of Tuesday's US presidential election.

Physical gold buyers rushed to the market on Friday during the sell-off, and the buying spree eased on Monday.

"There is physical delivery today on Friday's orders," said a Singapore-based dealer. "People are not in a rush to buy because there is plenty of supply around. But if prices drop below US$1,650, there will be good demand and supply will tighten up."

She added that gold bar premiums in Singapore stood at 80 to 90 cents an ounce above London prices.

Speculators cut the net length in US gold futures and options for the third straight week in the week ended on October 30, to 149,853 contracts. Net length in silver, platinum and palladium also fell, said the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Spot silver rebounded from a 4.3 percent slide in the previous session, to gain 0.8 percent to US$31.01.

Striking miners at AngloGold Ashanti were due to return to work on Sunday at two mines where operations were suspended this week in a dispute over bonus payments, the world's third largest bullion producer said.

Spot palladium lost 1.2 percent to US$601.50. Spot platinum was up 0.1 percent to US$1,539.

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