Gold prices edged up on Thursday in Asia as a weaker-than-expected U.S. payroll data outweighed optimism surrounding the U.S.-China trade development.
Gold Futures traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange edged up 0.1% to $1,297.05 an ounce by 12:35 AM ET (04:35 GMT).
Data on Wednesday showed private payrolls in the U.S. increased by just 129,000 in March, well below the expected 184,000. That was the worst reading since September 2017.
The disappointing data added to concerns of slowing U.S. economic growth and lifted prices of the safe-haven gold.
A weaker U.S. dollar was also supporting the precious metal. The U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies last traded at 96.620, down 0.1%.
The Federal Reserve’s decision to abandon all rate hike projections for the rest of 2019 due to concerns on slowing domestic growth might be putting the dollar under pressure, analysts said.
Asian equities traded mostly higher on Thursday amid news that Beijing and Washington are closing in on a trade agreement. However, the news had little impact on gold, which usually move in directions opposite to risk assets.
Traders also kept a close watch on Brexit development. On Wednesday, the U.K. parliament approved a bill to block a no-deal Brexit.
British Prime Minister now have to win support for her withdrawal deal, which has failed to win a majority three times, or the U.K. is likely to be set for a long Brexit extension.
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