Off The Wire
PRECIOUS-Gold off lows as dollar slips on slowing U.S. wage gains
Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, because they make bullion less attractive since it does not pay interest. Slow wage growth, however, could temper expectations that the Fed will raise its rate forecast to four hikes this year from three. There is optimism that tightening labor market conditions will spur faster wage growth and pull inflation toward the Fed's 2 percent target. News that U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un in what would be the first face-to-face encounter between the countries' leaders somewhat pressured gold. "If, with this news, the tension with North Korea is easing, it's something that is, maybe not headwinds, but a mild breeze against gold," said Norbert Rucker, head of commodity research at Julius Baer in Zurich.
The reaction has been muted because gold had failed to show strong safe-haven demand last year during months of insults exchanged over the North's nuclear and missile programs, he noted.
Silver , meanwhile, increased 0.6 percent at $16.60 an ounce, poised for a 0.6 percent weekly increase. Platinum gained 1 percent at $961.40 per ounce, ending the week down 0.4 percent. Palladium was up 1.6 percent at $992 per ounce, but unchanged from the prior week. (Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Dan Grebler)3359))