Gold edged down on Friday after falling more than one per cent in the previous session, and was on track for its first weekly decline since late January on expectations of a US rate hike in March.
Spot gold dropped 0.2 per cent to $1,232.81 per ounce at 0309 GMT. The metal had its worst session since Dec. 15 on Thursday, when it fell 1.1 per cent to touch a more than one-week low at $1,230.58.
US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to $1,234.90.
“With (US Federal Reserve) President Janet Yellen on the wires tonight, we look to see further weakness across the precious complex should she, as expected, promote the potential for an interest rate increase in March,” Laughlin said.
“Initial support for gold sits around $1,230, while below this we look to the 100 day moving average at $1,210.”
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a 44-year low last week, pointing to further tightening of the labor market even as economic growth appears to have remained moderate in the first quarter.
Spot gold may temporarily hover above a support at $1,232 per ounce and then bounce towards a resistance at $1,241 before falling again, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
ABN Amro lifted its year-end 2017 gold price forecast by $200 to $1,300 on Thursday and said prices would likely consolidate until turning higher later in the year.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.21 per cent to 845.32 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.
Platinum was steady at $986.40, after it fell 3 per cent in the previous session to hit one-month lows of $978.75.
Palladium rose 0.1 per cent to $768.