Gold steadies after steep sell-off, but bound for weekly dip
Adds graphic, updates prices
Bullion may face some near-term profit-taking - analyst
January U.S. non-farm payrolls due at 1330 GMT
By Arundhati Sarkar
Feb 3 (Reuters) -Gold prices steadied on Friday after a sharp sell-off in the previous session, as traders digested rate-hike remarks from global central banks, although a firmer dollar kept the metal on track for its first weekly drop in seven.
Spot gold XAU= rose 0.2% to $1,915.89 per ounce by 0652 GMT, after shedding 2% on Thursday dragged by a stronger dollar and profit-taking. The bullion was down 0.6% so far for the week.
U.S. gold futures GCv1 were little changed at $1,915.20.
"With gold prices delivering a stellar performance of more than 20% over the past three months, some positioning for softer rate-hike bets could already have been at play and having found the much-needed validation from the recent FOMC meeting," said Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG.
Some near-term profit-taking is likely, "but for gold prices, a greater conviction for sellers could be a break below the $1,895 level, where dip-buyers were seen stepping in this week just before the meeting," Yeap added.
Bullion has gained about $300 since November on expectations of softer rate hikes from the U.S. central bank, as a lower interest rate environment reduces the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Following the Fed's 25 basis-point rate increase, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England raised their rates by 50 bps as expected on Thursday.
Global central banks are now laying the groundwork in unison for a pause that, while not yet promised, is coming into view for later this year.
The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, was up 0.1%, keeping a leash on gold prices. USD/
On the data front, investors are now awaiting the monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls due later in the day.
Elsewhere, spot silver XAG= rose 0.2% to $23.502 per ounce, platinum XPT= added 0.5% to $1,026.17.
Palladium XPD= climbed 1.2% to $1,674.17.
Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V, Subhranshu Sahu and Eileen Soreng
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