By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was up on Monday morning in Asia, with investors continuing to digest a mixed U.S. report and weighing its impact on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next move.
Gold futures inched up 0.01% to $1,784.15 by 10:53 PM ET (3:53 AM GMT). The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, edged up on Monday.
The U.S. job report, released on Friday, was mixed. Non-farm payrolls were at 210,000 in November, lower than the 550,000 figure in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the previous month’s 546,000 figure. The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, a 21-month low.
Separate data said that the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was at a higher-than-expected 69.1 in November, a record high.
Although an indication that businesses are boosting hiring, prices remain high and there is little sign of supply constraints easing.
The Fed will likely speed up its asset tapering when it meets later in the month, in response to a tightening labor market. This could also lead to earlier-than-expected interest rate hikes.
Potential interest rate hikes also remained of interest across the Atlantic. Michael Saunders, an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, is awaiting more information about the new omicron COVID-19 variant before deciding how to vote at the central bank’s meeting later in the month. Saunders voted to hike interest rates in November.
In Asia Pacific, the Reserve Bank of Australia will hand down its latest policy decision on Tuesday, followed by the Reserve Bank of India a day later.
In other precious metals, silver was up 0.3%, platinum rose 0.8% and palladium gained 0.7%.