Gold prices dipped slightly yesterday as the US dollar held steady on upbeat United States jobs and factory data that prompted markets to reduce bets on a rate cut later this year.
Spot gold was down 0.4 per cent to US$1,313.38 per ounce by 7.20am GMT. Prices rose as high as US$1,326.30 last Thursday, their highest since April 26 last year.
US gold futures dipped 0.2 per cent at US$1,320.10 an ounce.
The US dollar held firm versus the yen, hovering near a one-week high yesterday, bolstered by a stronger-than-expected jobs report and a rebound in US manufacturing. US job growth surged last month, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an uncertain outlook.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.79 per cent to 817.40 tonnes last Friday from 823.87 tonnes the day before. Demand for physical gold gathered pace in top consumer China ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, while activity was muted in India as jewellers held off on purchases in anticipation of the country's budget presentation.
Abu Dhabi investment firm Noor Capital said last Friday that it bought three tonnes of gold on Jan 21 from Venezuela's central bank, adding that it would refrain from further transactions until Venezuela's situation stabilises.