Gold prices were little changed on Friday as cautious investors positioned themselves for key U.S. jobs data, but the safe-haven bullion was still bound for a third straight weekly gain.
Spot gold held its ground at $1,833.36 per ounce, as of 0035 GMT. For the week so far, it is up about 0.5%.
U.S. gold futures inched 0.2% lower at $1,837.40.
The market’s focus shifts to the U.S. Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls (NFP) data due at 1330 GMT.
U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in December while number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped to a three-month low last week, pointing to a still-tight labour market that could force the Fed to keep hiking interest rates.
Few Fed officials on Thursday reiterated their fight to lower inflation back to its 2% target, but St. Louis leader James Bullard said 2023 could finally bring some welcome relief on the inflation front.
Bullion is seen as a hedge against inflation, but rising interest rates tend to weigh on non-yielding gold.