Gold held a three-day decline after data showed that job creation in the U.S. advanced last month, which will probably keep the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates this year.
Bullion for immediate delivery was at $1,166.09 an ounce at 8:05 a.m. in Singapore from $1,166.26 on Thursday, when the metal fell to $1,157.18, the lowest since March 18, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Prices are set for a 0.8 percent drop this week, extending last week’s 2.1 percent decline.
Investors’ focus shifted to when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before Greece’s weekend referendum on austerity measures that may help to determine whether the country remains in the euro zone. A Labor Department report Thursday showed U.S. companies added 223,000 jobs in June while wages stagnated and the size of the labor force receded.
Central bank officials, who will meet this month, want to see continued improvement in the jobs market and have confidence inflation will pick up before they raise the benchmark federal funds rate, which they have held near zero since December 2008. They have two more jobs reports before the September meeting.
Futures for August delivery added 0.2 percent to $1,165.20 on the Comex after three days of losses. Silver for immediate delivery was little changed at $15.6852 an ounce after advancing 0.7 percent on Thursday, when it snapped five days of declines.