GOLD - SINGAPORE. Gold prices rose on Friday and were set for a second consecutive weekly gain, helped by diminished chances of U.S. interest rate hikes this year after a data-filled week that concludes with the pivotal jobs report later in the day.
Spot gold climbed 0.2% to $1,943.11 per ounce by 0805 GMT and was poised for a more than 1.4% weekly gain after prices touched one-month highs on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,969.90.
"Data from the U.S. has been on the soft side of things this week, and investors will be waiting to see if the NFP data confirms the trend of cooling economic activity," said KCM Trade Chief Market Analyst Tim Waterer.
The U.S. non-farm payrolls (NFP) report is due at 1230 GMT, which comes after data earlier this week showed job openings hit a 2-1/2-year low in July and the economy grew at a slightly less brisk pace than anticipated in the second quarter.
"If we witness an NFP print on the low side, Treasury yields will continue with their recent descent. The move lower in U.S. Treasury yields has made gold more attractive, which is why we have seen gold on a recovery path higher this week," Waterer said.
U.S. bond yields were set to end the week about 3% lower, while the dollar was on course to snap a six-week winning streak as slowing monthly inflation cemented expectations that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates unchanged this month.
The soft economic readings have prompted traders to dial back rate-hike bets for the Fed's November and December meetings as well, according to the CME's FedWatch tool.
Gold as a non-interest-paying asset tends to lose its appeal among investors when interest rates rise.
Elsewhere, spot silver gained 0.6% to $24.58 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.8% to $975.53. Both metals were also set for weekly gains.
Palladium was up 0.6% at $1,222.00.