MTECHTIPS:-Gold continues slide ahead of U.S. jobs report, Greek referendum
Gold futures inched down on Wednesday extending losses from the previous two sessions, ahead of a monthly U.S. employment report and a highly anticipated Greek referendum over the weekend. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery fell 0.90 or 0.08% to 1,170.90 a troy ounce, moving lower for the third consecutive session. Gold futures traded in a tight range during the first day of trading this month between a low of 1,166.90 and a peak of 1,174.40. Since closing at 1,202 an ounce on June 18, gold futures have declined in nine of its last 11 sessions. Gold likely gained support at 1,162.10 the low from June 5 and was met with resistance at 1,200.80, the high from June 22. When the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly jobs report on Thursday, economists expect a consensus rise of 230,000 non-farm payrolls for the month of June. In a robust report in May, non-farm payrolls surged by 280,000, amid significant increases in professional business services, retail trade and trade and transportation. Analysts also expect the unemployment rate to tick down 0.1% to 5.4% after edging up to 5.5% in May. In terms of hourly wages, economists anticipate an uptick of 0.2% in June building on a 0.3% surge a month earlier. A strong employment report could appease the hawks at the Federal Reserve, who are in favor of a September interest rate hike. Following last month’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Fed chair Janet Yellen indicated that the U.S. Central Bank would like to see continued improvement in wage and inflation growth before it raises its benchmark Federal Funds Rate for the first time in nearly a decade.