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MTECHTIPS:-Gold futures inch up ahead of U.S. data

MTECHTIPS:-Gold futures inch up ahead of U.S. data

Gold futures were modestly higher on Wednesday, as market players looked ahead to the release of key U.S. data later in the session amid ongoing uncertainty over the timing of a Federal Reserve rate hike. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on 60 cents, or 0.05%, to trade at $1,140.40 a troy ounce during European morning hours. A day earlier, gold rallied $7.30, or 0.64%. Tuesday’s gains came as steep losses in global equity markets and a weaker U.S. dollar supported demand for the yellow metal. The U.S. was to release the ADP jobs report for August at 8:15AM ET, followed by reports on productivity and costs at 8:30AM and factory orders at 10:00AM. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book on regional economic activity is scheduled for release at 2:00PM as traders look for hints regarding the timing of a potential rate hike. Investors also awaited Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report, which could help to provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term interest rate hike The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 220,000 last month, following an increase of 215,000 in July, while the unemployment rate is forecast to decline to 5.2% from 5.3%. Monthly jobs gains above 200,000 are seen by economists as consistent with strong employment growth. A strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report was likely to add to indications that the Federal Reserve will raise rates in September, instead of December, while a weak number could undermine the argument for an early rate hike.

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