,Glittering haven: Gold of various weights and sizes sit at Gold Investments Ltd bullion dealers in London. — Bloomberg
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BENGALURU: Gold prices inched up on Monday, hovering close to a 2-1/2-month peak after disappointing U.S. jobs data raised hopes the Federal Reserve could wait a bit longer to pare its stimulus measures.
Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,827.82 per ounce by 0646 GMT. In the previous session, prices hit their highest since June 16 at $1,833.80.
U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,829.60.
Gold is being supported by the notion that the Fed will be slower to taper than previously thought, and a weak U.S. dollar, said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.
Labor Department data showed on Friday U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs last month, far below economists' expectation of 728,000.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell had hinted last month that strong jobs recovery was a pre-requisite for the central bank to start paring back its asset purchases.
Some investors view gold as a hedge against inflation that may follow stimulus measures, while lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
After the data all gold could manage was a modest rally that never threatened the major resistance zone lying between $1830.00 and $1834.00, Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA said in a note.
"The price action on Friday reinforces that gold's upward momentum is waning," he added.
The dollar index hovered near a one-month trough versus major peers.
On the European Central Bank later this week to announce a cut to the pace of its emergency bond purchases from next quarter.
Meanwhile, a government source said that India's gold imports in August nearly doubled from a year earlier as weaker prices prompted jewellers to ramp up purchases for the festive season.
Silver rose 0.4% to $24.78 per ounce. Prices rose 3.4% in the previous session, its biggest one-day percentage gain since early May.
Platinum eased 0.2% to $1,023.06, while palladium rose 0.3% to $2,429.44.
U.S. markets were closed on Monday for a holiday. - Reuters