Gold sinks to lowest in 15 months on robust US data

Gold sinks to lowest in 15 months on robust US data

Gold sinks to lowest in 15 months on robust US data

Gold tumbled to its lowest level in around 15 months on Monday after better-than-expected U.S. jobs data boosted the dollar, dampening safe-haven appetite for bullion and pushing silver and platinum to multi-year lows.

Gold, which often influences other precious metals, has also failed to capitalise on geopolitical tensions caused by military conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

By 0641 GMT, cash gold was little changed at $1,191.30 an ounce after earlier falling to $1,183.46 an ounce, its weakest since June 2013.

Platinum touched its lowest since 2009, silver fell to its weakest since 2010, and palladium hit an 8-month low.

"A strong dollar is a major problem for gold. Sentiment is very bearish but I think we expect some kind of rebound," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong, who pegged support at $1,180 an ounce.

"There's a little bit of physical buying, but premiums haven't changed. We have to see what happens later in the day. If demand is coming, of course, it will push up the premiums."

Premiums for gold were quoted at $1.20 to $1.60 an ounce to the spot London prices, unchanged from last week, despite a sharp drop in cash gold prices.

The absence of main gold consumer China is weighing on the physical market, which usually sees a pick up in demand from jewellers and retail investors when prices fall.

Chinese markets have been shut for national holidays and will reopen on Wednesday.

U.S. gold was $1,191.70 an ounce, down 0.10 percent.

The dollar held on Monday near a more than four-year high, touched after last week's upbeat U.S. nonfarm payrolls report increased speculation that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in mid-2015 or earlier.

Data from the Labor Department on Friday showed U.S. non-farm payrolls rose 248,000 last month and the jobless rate fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest since July 2008, underscoring that the U.S. economy continues to improve.

In Tokyo, sellers pushed up premiums for gold bars to 25 cents to spot London prices from zero last week to offset the decline in global prices.

"At this moment, demand is not good. But maybe when the holiday in China is over, the premiums may go up further," said a dealer in Tokyo.

Markets in Singapore, a key bullion trading centre in Southeast Asia, were also closed for a public holiday.

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