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US spot gold extends the range play as traders keenly await US NFP

Gold price remains on the defensive amid the Fed’s higher-for-longer rates narrative.A positive risk tone further undermines the metal, though a weaker USD lends support.Traders look to the key US jobs report before positioning for a firm near-term direction.

Gold price (XAU/USD) continues with its struggle to gain meaningful traction on Friday and remains confined in the weekly range through the early European session. Traders seem reluctant to place aggressive directional bets and opt to wait on the sidelines ahead of the release of the closely watched US monthly employment details, leading to the subdued price action. The popularly known Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) report will be looked upon for cues about the Federal Reserve's (Fed) rate cut path, which, in turn, will play a key role in influencing the near-term trajectory for the non-yielding yellow metal.

In the meantime, growing acceptance that the US central bank will keep interest rates higher for longer amid still sticky inflation is seen undermining demand for the non-yielding Gold price. Apart from this, the risk-on mood – as depicted by a generally positive tone around the equity markets – might continue to act as a headwind for the safe-haven precious metal. The downside, however, remains cushioned in the wake of the post-FOMC US Dollar (USD) selling bias, which is likely to benefit the USD-denominated commodity and hold back traders from placing aggressive bearish bets around the XAU/USD.

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