PRECIOUS-Gold steady as investors await U.S. jobs data to gauge Fed's taper path
By Eileen Soreng
Sept 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Thursday as investors were largely on the sidelines awaiting the U.S. non-farm payrolls print that is considered crucial for the Federal Reserve's tapering timeline.
Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,814.58 per ounce by 0646 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 traded flat at $1,816.50.
"Market is waiting for the payrolls data to be released to get a bit of a guide on how ultimately inflation expectations will be set," ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said.
While U.S. jobless claim figures are due at 1230 GMT later in the day, the Labour Department will release the non-farm payrolls report for August on Friday.
The median payrolls forecast of 80 economists polled by Reuters is for 728,000 jobs to have been created in August.
Fed chief Jerome Powell said last week the labour market recovery would determine when the U.S. central bank would start cutting its asset purchase.
Gold is often considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, caused by massive stimulus measures.
"We're still expecting to see CPI remain relatively high, so for the remainder of the year, that will slowly drag up inflation expectations... That's likely to see gold push higher," Hynes said.
Meanwhile, the dollar index =USD hovered near multi-week lows, pressured by a private payrolls report that missed expectations. USD/ nN9N2NL019
On the technical front, spot gold may test a resistance at $1,826 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain at $1,841, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, silver XAG= fell 0.1% to $24.15 per ounce and platinum XPT= eased 0.5% to $997.27.
Palladium XPD= shed 0.1% to $2,439.18 per ounce.
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)