Investing.com - The good feelings over U.S. jobs and manufacturing numbers are belatedly making its way to the dollar -- and costing gold in the process.
After giving gold a strong five-day run through Thursday, investors have been making a beeline toward the greenback, letting the spot price and futures of the yellow metal fall for a second day in a row.
The spot gold contract, reflective of trades in physical bullion, was down by $4.21, or 0.3%, at $1,313.44 by 1:56 PM ET (18:56 GMT).
In gold futures, the benchmark April contract on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled down $2.80, or 0.2%, at $1,319.30 per ounce.
Gold prices have declined since Friday's U.S. January jobs report, which showed a solid growth of 304,000 jobs versus an estimated gain of 165,000. The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing purchasing managers' index, meanwhile, rose to 56.6 in January, up from 54.3% in December,he previous month and defying expectations for a drop to 54.2.%
Even White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett's remarks that there was still "a lot of work to do” on the U.S.-China trade talks did not boost gold on Monday. Investors have been buying gold either as a hedge against a further U.S. fallout with China or a direct bet that a trade deal between the two countries would not happen.
Despite the slide of the past two days, gold was still in firm $1,300 territory, with enough resilience to make new 2019 highs thanks to the Federal Reserve's promise to be patient with rate hikes, say some analysts. Gold is up nearly 3% this year.
A number of Fed speeches will get market attention this week, as traders watch for further clues on interest rates. Topping the agenda will be remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who will be speaking Wednesday at a town hall meeting for teachers, in Washington.
Along with Powell, other central bank speakers are Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Fed Governor Randal Quarles, all of whom could give gold bugs a clue on whether the metal can continue to move higher.
The spot price of palladium traded at $1,363.80 per ounce, up $9.70, or 0.7%, making it the world's most valuable traded metal.
Spot palladium first traded above gold earlier this month when it hit record highs of $1,440.35 on Jan. 17. Gold's own peaks have been higher in the past, rallying above $1,900 in 2011.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 1:56 PM ET:
Palladium futures up $16.05, or 1.2%, at $1,329.65 per ounce.
Silver futures down 5.8 cents, or 0.4%, at $15.87 per ounce.
Platinum futures down $4.60, or 0.6%, at $822.10 per ounce.
Copper futures up 2.8 cents, or 1%, to $2.80 per lb.