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Gold ends about 1% higher on growth fears, focus on Yellen

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 | 2:25 PM ET
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Gold settled nearly 1 percent higher on Monday after a weak U.S. jobs report last week raised questions over economic recovery, which could potentially slow the pace of the Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering.

Attention this week will switch to the first testimony from the new head of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, to U.S. lawmakers hoping for reassurance that policy will stay loose for a long time to come.

Yellen will address the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday and the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

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Spot gold last rose 0.7 percent to $1,275 an ounce, after gaining 1.9 percent in the previous week, its largest weekly increase since Jan. 3.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled 0.9 percent higher, at $1,274.70 an ounce.

"Gold is looking to challenge the $1,280 area, gaining some support from a weaker dollar...but the market is cautious as it awaits Yellen's testimony,'' Sociètè Gènèrale analyst Robin Bhar said.

"Some of the soft economic reports in the U.S. may mean that the Fed will hold off easing further in the March meeting but all depends on data flows between now and then.''

The Fed's Federal Open Market Committee meets on March 18-19.

Global equities were mixed and the dollar was little changed against a basket of main currencies as data on Friday showed U.S. job creation slowed sharply over the past two months, turning in the weakest performance in three years.

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