Gold rose on Friday, bouncing back from multi-week lows as the dollar slipped ahead of a key U.S. jobs report, and as investors fretted over increasing signs of a global slowdown.
Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,293.18 per ounce as of 1300 GMT. Prices on Thursday hit a low of $1,280.91, a whisker away from a more than five-week low hit earlier this week.
U.S. gold futures also gained 0.6 percent to $1,293.40.
“We are seeing a bit of short-covering on a Friday ahead of the non-farm payroll numbers from America,” said David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron.
“The expectation is for a slowdown (in the jobs data), and if that happens it is certainly a bullish signal for gold only because it is slightly bearish for the dollar,” he said. “If the numbers are in line or worse-than-expected, gold could rally above $1,300.”
The dollar index was down 0.3 percent, having hit a near three-month peak in the previous session after the ECB postponed an interest rate hike until 2020, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies. Equities also stumbled after weak export data from China heightened market fears about a global economic slowdown, a day after the ECB slashed euro zone growth forecasts. Investors are now focused on the U.S. nonfarm payroll data, due at 1330 GMT.
“We think gold prices are going to continue to go higher on the back of a weakening dollar,” said Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah.
“Growth in the U.S. is going to slow as the country has reached full employment and productivity is very high so there isn’t much space for growth… And we are coming to an end of the Federal Reserve’s rate cycle which should weaken the dollar further.”
Investors also kept a close eye on trade talks between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said the talks were moving along well.
In other precious metals, palladium slipped 0.2 percent to $1,524.59 per ounce and was on track for its biggest weekly decline since the week ended Nov. 23.
Silver gained 0.7 percent to $15.12, after slipping to its lowest since late December in the previous session.
Platinum rose 0.3 percent to $815.89 per ounce, after touching its lowest since Feb. 19 at $806.50 earlier. It was down about 4.8 percent so far this week, its biggest weekly percentage decline since end-November.