Gold price climbed on speculation that the Fed will delay its further interest rate hikes. New York Fed President William Dudley said in an interview with MNI that financial conditions were tighter than in December, and a stronger U.S. dollar could have "significant consequences" for the U.S. economy. He pointed out that the Fed would have to take that into consideration making its decision at its March monetary policy meeting.
Market participants eyed the U.S. initial jobless claims data. According to the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday, the number of initial jobless claims in the week ending January 30 in the U.S. rose by 8,000 to 285,000 from 277,000 in the previous week. The previous week's figure was revised down from 278,000. Analysts had expected jobless claims to increase to 280,000.
Official labour market data will be released tomorrow. Analysts expect that U.S. unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.0% in January. The U.S. economy is expected to add 190,000 jobs in January, after adding 292,000 jobs in December.
April futures for gold on the COMEX today decreased to 1157.30 dollars per ounce.