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  • Sustained USD buying exerted some pressure on gold during the early North American session.
  • Strong NFP report provided an additional lift to the greenback and the US Treasury bond yields.
  • A softer risk tone extended some support to the safe-haven XAU/USD and helped limit losses.

Gold edge lower during the early North American session and dropped to fresh nine-month lows, below the $1690 level in reaction to an upbeat US jobs report.

The headline NFP print showed that the US economy added 37K new jobs in February, surpassing consensus estimates by a big margin. Adding to this, the previous month’s reading was also revised higher to 166K from 49K reported earlier and the unemployment rate edged lower to 6.2% from 6.3% previous.

The upbeat data provided an additional boost to the already stronger US dollar and prompted some selling around the dollar-denominated commodity. The USD was further supported by a fresh leg up in the US Treasury bond yields, which tends to drive flows away from the non-yielding yellow metal.

That said, a sharp pullback in the US equity futures extended some support to the safe-haven XAU/USD and helped limit any further losses. Investors also seemed reluctant to place fresh bearish bets amid oversold conditions on short-term charts, warranting some caution for bearish traders.

Nevertheless, the XAU/USD remains on track to record the third consecutive week of losses and vulnerable to slide further. Hence, any attempted recovery might still be seen as a selling opportunity amid the progress on US President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Technical levels to watch