Dec 1(Reuters) - Gold prices climbed a two-week high in
early Asian trade on Thursday, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell's speech reinforced expectations of smaller
interest rate hikes ahead.
* Spot gold was up 0.4% to $1,775.77 per ounce, as of
0039 GMT, having hit its highest level since Nov. 16.
* U.S. gold futures rose 1.7% to $1,788.90.
* Powell said on Wednesday it was time to slow the pace of
coming interest rate hikes while also signalling a protracted
economic adjustment to a world where borrowing costs will remain
high, inflation comes down slowly, and the U.S. remains
chronically short of workers.
* Market participants now expect a 91% chance of a 50 basis
points rate hike in the U.S. central bank's upcoming December
* Lower interest rates tend to boost bullion's appeal as the
it reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding
asset, which ended November more than 8% higher its biggest
monthly gain since July 2020.
* Meanwhile, U.S. private payrolls increased far less than
expected in November, suggesting demand for labour was cooling
amid high interest rates, a survey showed on Wednesday.
* Investors' attention now turns to the U.S. Labor
Department's non-farm payrolls data on Friday, which could
influence Fed's policy decisions.
* Spot silver gained 0.3% to $22.26, platinum
rose 0.6% to $1,038.46 and palladium rose 0.6% to
0030 Japan JibunBK Mfg PMI Final SA Nov
0030 Australia Capital Expenditure Q3
0145 China Caixin Mfg PMI Final Nov
0700 UK Nationwide House Price MM, YY Nov
0850 France S&P Global Mfg PMI Nov
0855 Germany S&P Global/BME Mfg PMI Nov
0900 EU S&P Global Mfg Final PMI Nov
1000 EU Unemployment Rate Oct
1330 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Oct
1330 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly
1445 US S&P Global Mfg PMI Final Nov
1500 US ISM Manufacturing PMI Nov
(Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; editing by