Gold Prices Stay Stable as Dollar Weakens

Gold prices went firm on Monday, as the U.S. dollar slightly weakened after broadly strengthening to the upbeat U.S. non-farm payrolls report last Friday.

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Comex gold futures were slightly changed at $1,323.1 a troy ounce.

Meanwhile, the dollar primarily strengthened after report of Labor Department about the U.S. economy adding 313,000 jobs in February. This beats the forecasts of economists of 200,000 jobs. It was the biggest monthly growth in one-and-one-a-half years.

The report, however, also showed that the average hourly earnings increased by 0.1 percent last month for an annual rate of 2.6 percent, declining from January’s 2.8 percent.

This year, the expectations of the Federal Reserve for the four rate hikes dampened due to the slowdown in the wage growth.

After the White House announced that Mexico and Canada would be exempt from the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, the dollar recovered some ground.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the strength of greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, went down 0.11 percent at 90.01.

Oil Prices Fall

In other news, oil prices on Monday gave up earlier gains as the increasing U.S. output loomed over markets, despite a slowdown in rig drilling activity.

Crude Oil Pump

The crude futures of the U.S. West Texas Intermediate were at $61.90 a barrel, down 14 cents, or 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures were at $65.36 per barrel, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

Last Friday and early on Monday, the oil prices had increased.

“A falling rig count and the strong employment data may have helped support prices,” William O’Loughlin, an analyst, stated.

Last week, the U.S. energy companies have cut the oil rigs for the first time in almost two months, with drillers cutting back four rigs, to 796, according to the energy services firm, Baker Hughes.

According to Phillip Futures, a brokerage, the oil market “will focus on OPEC and IEA [monthly] reports this week for a sensing on global demand/supply levels for crude oil.”

“Items in focus will include OECD commercial stock levels, revision in global demand and supply for crude oil and OPEC’s compliance on production levels,” Phillip Futures added.

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