* Spot gold may rise into $1,258-$1,266 range- technicals
* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust rose on Friday
* Dollar drops broadly after soft payrolls data
By Eileen Soreng
BENGALURU, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Monday,
having touched a fresh five-month peak early in the session, as the
dollar weakened after a soft U.S. jobs report fuelled speculation that
the Federal Reserve may stop raising interest rates sooner than expected.
Spot gold inched up 0.1 percent to $1,248.59 per ounce, as of
0813 GMT, after hitting its highest since July 11 at $1,250.55 earlier
in the session.
U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to $1,253.4 per ounce.
Weak data points from the United States have been putting pressure
on the dollar index which is proving to be positive for gold, said
Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai, adding that:
"we expect a resistance level of $1,270 before the upcoming Fed
The dollar slid against the euro and the yen after data showed
U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs last month, below
economists' median forecast of 200,000 jobs, and the wage increase was
softer than expected.
Some Fed policymakers have struck a cautious tone about the
economic outlook, possibly flagging a turning point in the monetary
The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at its Dec.
18-19 meeting, but the focus is on how many rate hikes will follow in 2019.
Gold tends to gain when rate hike expectations recede because
lower rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion. Lower interest rates also tend to weigh on U.S. yields and
the dollar, in which gold is priced.
"There is also some safe-haven demand coming back in
gold," said Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau.
Global stocks extended their slump on worries over slowing growth
and fears that a fresh flare-up in tensions between U.S. and China
could quash chances of a trade deal.
"A number of tailwinds are in place for it (gold) to move
significantly higher during the month including falling U.S. interest
rates, a declining or at least a stalling dollar, wobbly U.S. equity
markets," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
"Over the course of December, we see prices trading between
$1,230-$1,285 per ounce."
Meanwhile, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.20 percent to 759.73 tonnes
Spot gold may rise into a range of $1,258-$1,266 per ounce, as it
has broken a resistance at $1,245, according to Reuters technical
analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, spot silver was down 0.2 percent
at $14.59 per ounce, while palladium slipped 0.6 percent to $1,216.52.
Platinum edged 0.2 percent higher to $791.40 per ounce. Prices
had slipped to their lowest since Sept. 12 at $779 in the previous
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu,
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