Gold was seen struggling for a direction and remained confined within a narrow trading range, with mild positive bias.
Currently hovering around $1173 region, all set to post fourth consecutive week of declines, the precious metal seesawed between tepid gains and minor losses on the back of mixed US monthly jobs report. Today’s headline NFP number came-in to show addition of 178K new jobs in November, slightly above 175K forecasted and up from October’s142K (revised lower from 161K previously reported). Meanwhile, the unemployment rate surprisingly dropped to 9-year low level of 4.6% but was negated by an unexpected contraction in average hourly earnings.
The data, however, was not enough to alter market expectations of a December Fed rate-hike action and hence, failed to provide any impetus to the yellow metal. However, a mild US Dollar retracement, primarily on the back of profit taking was seen extending some support to the dollar-denominated commodities – like gold.
Technical levels to watch
Immediate support is pegged at $1167-66 (session low) below which the commodity could drift to $1160 (yesterday’s multi-month low) ahead of $1152-50 next important support. On the upside, $1178 (session peak) now becomes immediate barrier, which if cleared could lift the metal towards $1182 en-route $1195-97 resistance area (weekly highs).