Gold headed for its biggest weekly decline since March on investor concerns over a potential pullback in central bank stimulus amid signs the recovery is gathering pace.
Bullion tumbled 2% Thursday as the dollar and Treasury yields rose after better-than-expected U.S. data added to speculation the Federal Reserve may bring forward the timeline for tapering bond purchases. Service providers expanded at the fastest pace on record last month, highlighting the ramp-up in business activity across the economy. American companies added the most jobs in May in nearly a year, according to the ADP Research Institute.
Still, New York Fed President John Williams (NYSE:WMB) said now is not the time for the U.S. central bank to adjust its bond-buying program, though it makes sense for the officials to be talking through options for the future. That follows comments from his Philadelphia counterpart, Patrick Harker, who said it’s appropriate to “slowly, carefully” move back on purchases at a suitable time.
Gold has wobbled after jumping the most in 10 months in May as investors weighed risks including faster inflation and the uneven recovery from the pandemic. The main focus for traders on Friday will be the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for May, for clues on the strength of the labor market.
Spot gold was steady at $1,870.03 an ounce at 9:16 a.m. in Singapore. Prices climbed to $1,916.64 on Tuesday, the highest intraday level since Jan. 8, but have since retreated and are now down 1.8% this week. Silver steadied, while platinum and palladium fell. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index ticked up after surging 0.7% on Thursday.