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Gold Futures Fall Toward Seven-Week Low on Improving U.S. Data

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Gold declined toward a seven-week low in New York as improving U.S. data added to the case for reduced stimulus.

Bullion futures reached $1,277.40 an ounce on April 1, the lowest since Feb. 11. A private report yesterday showed U.S. companies increased hiring last month. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index that tracks the U.S. currency versus 10 major counterparts reached the highest since March 25 today before government data tomorrow that may show stronger jobs growth.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last month the central bank may end bond buying this fall and increase borrowing costs six months after that, before this week saying that “considerable slack” in labor markets showed that accommodative policies will be needed for “some time.”

“As far as gold is concerned, in the short term, much will depend on the U.S. non-farm payrolls report this Friday,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, wrote today in a report. “Gold safe-haven buying continues to lose its appeal. A stronger dollar will likely continue to impede any price rebound from here.”

Gold for June delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,284.40 by 7:42 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Futures volume was 11 percent below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Bullion for immediate delivery declined 0.4 percent to $1,284.17 in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

U.S. Jobs

The Labor Department will probably say tomorrow U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs last month, versus 175,000 in February, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.’s physical gold demand gauge accelerated toward the end of March, analysts from the bank wrote in a note today.

“Physical demand is good, not exceptional, so it’s difficult to see the upward momentum being sustained,” said Zhu Siquan, an analyst at GF Futures Co., a unit of the Guangzhou- based company that bought Natixis Commodity Markets Ltd. “Investors should remain sidelined before the payrolls data.”

In India, which ceded its spot as the largest gold consumer to China last year after restricting imports, central bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said yesterday small steps in easing gold import curbs can’t be ruled out. Relaxing the curbs will be a calibrated process, Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said.

Silver for May delivery fell 1.1 percent to $19.82 an ounce in New York. Platinum for July delivery lost 0.2 percent to $1,435.90 an ounce, after touching $1,445.40, the highest since March 21. Palladium for June delivery slipped 0.4 percent to $784.65 an ounce. It climbed to $802.45 last month, the highest since August 2011.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union led more than 70,000 workers on strike in South Africa since Jan. 23 at mines of the biggest platinum producers. Lonmin Plc declared force majeure over mining goods and services and the company will only buy metal on the open market for customer needs as a “last resort,” said Chief Executive Officer Ben Magara.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net; Glenys Sim in Singapore at gsim4@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net John Deane, Nicholas Larkin

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