File picture: Jacky Naegelen

Singapore - Gold headed for a third weekly decline, the longest run of losses since September, before a report forecast to show the fastest jobs growth in the US in four months, supporting further reductions to monetary stimulus.

Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,287.34 an ounce at 2:24 p.m. in Singapore from $1,286.70 yesterday, according to Bloomberg generic pricing.

The metal lost 0.6 percent this week after sliding to $1,277.79 on April 1, the lowest since February 11.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said this week that slack in labor markets showed accommodative policies will be needed for some time, after last month saying the central bank may end bond buying this fall and raise borrowing costs six months after that.

Data today may show employers added 200,000 positions last month, the biggest rise since November, according to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey.

“Gold will stick to a tight trading range as traders look to US economic data for direction,” said Ethan Wai, a research analyst at Wing Fung Financial Group, a Hong Kong-based gold trader and refiner.

The Fed, which next meets later this month, cut monthly bond-buying by $10 billion at each of the past three gatherings, leaving purchases at $55 billion.

Gold for June delivery added 0.2 percent to $1,287.60 an ounce on the Comex.

Futures are heading for a third weekly drop, the longest stretch since July.

Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust were unchanged for a second day yesterday after sliding to 810.98 metric tons on April 1, the least since March 7.

Silver for immediate delivery was at $19.8443 an ounce from $19.8498 yesterday and is little changed this week.

Platinum fell 0.4 percent to $1,437.24 an ounce, trimming the first weekly advance in a month. Palladium dropped 0.3 percent to $786.75 an ounce, also paring a weekly increase.

The leaders of Lonmin Plc and its main union addressed hundreds of miners from the same stage at a Johannesburg rally yesterday to put across their positions on a strike that began 11 weeks ago.

The stoppage has crippled platinum output at mines of the world’s three biggest producers. - Bloomberg News