MTECHTIPS- Gold prices notched small gains and losses in Asia on Wednesday as investors turned cautious ahead of U.S. jobs data at the end of the week and in thin trade with markets in China shut until the end of the week. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery fell 0.02% to $1,269.50 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for December delivery rose 0.16% to $17.803 a troy ounce and copper futures for December delivery declined 0.05% to $2.168 a pound. Overnight, gold prices slipped near two-week lows on Tuesday, as a stronger U.S. dollar following recent upbeat U.S. data continued to weigh on the precious metal. The greenback strengthened after the Institute for Supply Management said on Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 51.5 last month from August’s reading of 49.4. Analysts had forecast a lesser increase to 50.3.The reports added to optimism over the strength of the economy after Friday’s upbeat U.S. consumer sentiment data.
Market participants were focusing on Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls report for further indications on the strength of the job market, as the Federal Reserve has indicated that future interest rate decisions will be data-dependent.