MTECHTIPS;-Gold falls on NFP anticipation and stronger greenback
Gold futures traded down in European trade Friday, slipping below the critical technical level of USD1700 a troy ounce, as investors anticipate the release of the U.S. nonfarm payroll report later in the session and a stronger greenback pressured the yellow metal.On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1698.95 a troy ounce in European trade, falling 0.17%.It earlier traded at a session high USD1705.25 a troy ounce. Gold was likely to find support at USD1686.15 and resistance at USD1724.45. The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending December 1 fell by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 15,000 to 380,000. Sentiment found some support after U.S. President Barack Obama said that a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff of year-end tax hikes and spending cuts was possible in “about a week” if Republicans compromise on taxes. Traders are anxiously awaiting the release of the U.S. nonfarm payroll numbers later in the session to gauge the strength of the U.S. economy. Pressuring gold, policymakers now expect 2012 gross domestic product to shrink between 0.4% and 0.6%, while GDP is expected to come in between a 0.9% contraction and growth of 0.3% in 2013.In September, the ECB had forecast 2013 GDP to range between a contraction of 0.4% and growth of 1.4%.