Gold prices eased on Friday as the dollar resumed its climb versus major peers ahead of U.S. nonfarm payrolls data that could provide further clarity on the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
Spot gold slid 0.15 percent to $1,611.80 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,630.60 per ounce.
The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release its usually closely-watched monthly employment report later today, although the data may be seen as old news as the employment survey was conducted three weeks ago.
Economists expect the report to show employment fell by 100,000 jobs in March after an increase of 273,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to climb to 3.8 percent from 3.5 percent.
The U.S. recession is here and how quickly the country will bounce back will depend upon the course of the viral pandemic, the extent of support the federal government provides and how effectively it may be used to stem millions of job losses, Fed officials said Thursday.
Fears are growing that virus-led economic disruptions could be far more punishing and long lasting than initially thought.
As coronavirus crisis escalates, Fitch Ratings expects a deep global recession this year, with the fall in 2020 GDP on par with the global financial crisis.
According to the latest update of its Global Economic Outlook, World economic activity will decline 1.9 percent in 2020.
The rating agency expects US GDP to fall by 3.3 percent, the euro area by 4.2 percent and the UK to drop 3.9 percent this year.