Gold steadied near a 5-1/2-year low on Friday, remaining on track to stretch its weekly losses to a seventh week, its longest such slump since 1999, ahead of key U.S. data that may determine how soon the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. That further strengthens the case for the Fed to raise interest rates this year for the first time since 2006, weighing on non-interest yielding gold. Analysts say that rate hike could come as soon as Fed policymakers meet next month. The key may be the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due later in the day. Economists polled by Reuters show the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in July, the same pace as June.


US non-farm payrolls number will be released Friday night. July’s planned layoffs at US companies, ISM non-manufacturing PMI and sub-index of Markit manufacturing PMI were disappointing. Consequently, markets expect non-farm payrolls to be downbeat.   LME copper prices fell by USD 7/mt to end at USD 5,184/mt on Thursday.  Investors exited the market on caution before release of nonfarm payrolls, and large companies reported weak results, pressuring US stock prices. SHFE 1510 copper contract may trade at RMB 37,800-38,200/mt on August 7. Spot copper will be quoted between a discount of RMB 60/mt and a premium of RMB 20/mt to SHFE 1508 copper contract.


Oil futures traded slightly higher on Friday in thin early Asian trade, after setting multi-month lows in the previous session, as investors await indications on how prolonged the current period of oversupply will be. The contract is down about 4.8 percent this week, the biggest weekly fall since March. It is also heading for a sixth week of declines, the longest losing streak since the turn of the year when the market was in freefall. Investors are awaiting for weekly rig count report ahead day.   

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