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MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices hold nearly steady in Asia ahead of key U.S. jobs report

MTECHTIPS:-Gold prices hold nearly steady in Asia ahead of key U.S. jobs report

Gold prices held nearly steady in Asia on Friday with a key piece of U.S. data later that will likely set the tone of expectations for the Federal Reserve’s September meeting on rates. Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s highly-anticipated jobs report for further indications on the strength of the economy and signs of a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery traded at $1,124.10 a troy ounce, down 0.04%. Silver for December delivery fell 0.05% to $14.700 a troy ounce. Copper for December delivery rose 0.05% to $2.376 a pound. Overnight, gold futures plummeted on Thursday as the dollar surged against the euro, after the European Central Bank left interest rates at record lows while providing strong hints that it will use all the tools necessary to stimulate the economy and boost inflation throughout the euro zone. Gold futures fell precipitously in European afternoon trading after the ECB held interest rates at 0.05%, while downgrading its GDP and inflation forecasts over the next two years. The ECB also kept its marginal lending rate at 0.30% and left its facility rate unchanged at 0.20%. Citing higher downside risks due to lower energy and commodity prices, ECB head Mario Draghi lowered the central bank’s inflation projections for the remainder of 2015 to 0.1% from a previous estimate of 0.3%. The ECB has also lowered inflation projections for 2016 and 2017 from 1.5% and 1.8% to 1.1 and 1.7% respectively, Draghi added. At the same time, the ECB reduced GDP projections over the period predicting that it will remain below 2% through the end of 2017.

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