Gold held steady early on Tuesday as bargain hunters swooped in after the metal fell to near five-week lows, while investors wait to see how U.S. nonfarm payroll data due later this week will play into the timing of any rate hike.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,323.26 per ounce at 0116 GMT. The metal had recovered from a near five-week low of $1,314.70 after a dollar run lost some steam late Monday.
* U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,327.30.
* Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case for “an increase” in the policy rate has strengthened in recent months due to improvements in the labor market and expectations for solid economic growth.
* Friday’s nonfarm report for August, as well as other data, could reinforce hawkish messages from Yellen and other Fed officials.
* Employers are expected on Friday to show 180,000 job gains in August, according to the median estimate of 89 economists polled by Reuters, below the better-than-expected 255,000 additions in July and 292,000 gains in June.
* U.S. consumer spending increased for a fourth straight month in July amid strong demand for automobiles, pointing to a pickup in economic growth that could pave the way for the Fed to raise interest rates this year.
* Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
* Japan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.0 percent in July from the previous month, data showed on Tuesday.
* Russia’s biggest private bank Otkritie Financial Corporation said on Monday it become the first Russian bank to sell gold bars on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.