10-6-17 8:00 AM EDT | Email Article

By Rachel Koning Beals

Jobs report expected to reflect hurricanes impact, may add to uncertainty around rate hikes

Gold eased Friday, leaving the lead futures contract on track for a weekly loss, as investors awaited further clues on the Federal Reserve's plan for U.S. interest rates from the September payrolls report.

Gold was poised for a weekly fall of around 1% after posting declines in each of the last three weeks.

December gold was recently off $1.10, or 0.1%, to $1,272.10 an ounce. The exchange-traded SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was little changed in premarket action.

December silver , meanwhile, tried for a slim gain, last up less than 1 cent, or less than 0.1%, at $16.645 an ounce, while the silver ETF iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.2%.

Investors are eagerly anticipating Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show the clearest sign of the effect of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria on job creation for September. Average estimates of economists polled by MarketWatch are for a gain of 75,000, compared with twice that figure last month, with the unemployment rate expected to hold steady at 4.4%.

See: Hurricanes may make it look like U.S. 'lost' jobs for first time since 2010 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hurricanes-may-make-it-look-like-us-lost-jobs-for-the-first-time-since-2010-2017-10-01)

Upbeat economic data are expected to bolster the Federal Reserve's case for increasing rates once more in 2017, and likely into 2018.

Gold traders have been on the defensive as the dollar hit "its highest level on a trade-weighted basis since mid-August. This development has been driven by the very robust U.S. economic data released in recent days, which have caused the Fed rate hike expectations to pick up," said Carsten Fritsch and the commodities analysts at Commerzbank in a commentary.

"What is more, stock markets are still extremely buoyant. The leading U.S. stock indices are achieving new record highs on a daily basis. It is hard for gold to gain any ground in this market environment," he said.

The dollar, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was up 0.1% at 93.96. It has risen 0.9% so far this week. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive to buyers using other monetary units, and richer yields undercut the appeal of owning gold and other metals, which don't bear a yield. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield traded near 2.347% compared with 2.17% at the start of September.

On Comex, December copper slipped to $3.0435 a pound. January platinum rose nearly 0.4% to $921.50 an ounce and December palladium added 0.7% to $943.30 an ounce.

-Rachel Koning Beals; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-06-17 0800ET

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