Gold gains on soft dollar, rate cut hopes

By Rahul Paswan

(Reuters) – Gold prices climbed more than 1% on Monday, as the U.S. dollar weakened after softer-than-expected U.S. jobs data fueled expectations of potential interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve later this year.

Spot gold rose 1% to $2,324.94 per ounce by 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT). U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled 0.9% higher at $2,331.2 per ounce.

“The downside that we’ve seen over the last few weeks might actually be running out of steam, opening (the) door for gold prices to resume their upward trajectory,” said Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities.

Bullion lost about 1.5% last week.

Data on Friday showed job growth in the U.S. slowed more than expected in April, while the increase in annual wages fell below 4.0% for the first time in nearly three years.

While gold is traditionally considered a hedge against inflation, lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding bullion and weigh on the dollar, in which gold is priced.

The U.S. dollar was a touch lower on Monday, after hovering near its lowest level in about a month on Friday, following the employment report. [USD/]

“We continue to expect two rate cuts this year, in July and November,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a note. The April employment report was soft but not weak, it said.

Chances of rate cuts in September were about 66% on Monday, as per CME’s FedWatch Tool.

Gold also found support from ongoing tensions in the Middle East, with Israel’s military operation in Rafah adding a layer of uncertainty to the market.

Other precious metals also advanced, with spot silver rising 3.3% to $27.40 per ounce, and palladium adding 3.6% to $979.83.

Platinum was steady at $955.35 per ounce.

(Reporting by Rahul Paswan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Alan Barona)

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