Gold held steady as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a bullish assessment of the U.S. economy and the job market ahead of November employment data due Friday.
Spot gold strengthened 0.1% to $1,239.19/oz at 9:56am in Singapore. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index little changed.
Powell's comments are his final scheduled public remarks before the Fed goes into a blackout period ahead of its Dec. 18-19 policy meeting, at which officials are expected to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point for the fourth time this year.
Investors, though, have reduced their bets on 2019 rate increases amid stock-market losses and heightened fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China.
Economists are forecasting a moderating but still strong pace of hiring in the Labor Department’s monthly report Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Washington, despite some job-market data this week showing the potential for cooling.