Investing.com – Gold prices edged higher in quiet trade on Monday, after largely upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced already high expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates at its December meeting, and that further hikes are likely in 2018.
Comex gold futures were up 0.20% at $1,271.68 a troy ounce by 08:50 a.m. ET (12:50 GMT).
The Labor Department said on Friday that the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, falling short of forecasts for 315,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000.
However, some investors believe the data was distorted by the effects of recent hurricanes in the U.S.
The mostly upbeat data underlined the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace in the coming months.
The U.S. central bank is scheduled to hold its final policy meeting of the year on Dec. 12-13, with interest rate futures pricing in a 100% chance of a rate hike at that meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures rose 0.24% to $16.88 a troy ounce.