Gold prices in the spot and domestic market are expected to be range-bound as equities rise and the market weighs worries over global economic growth.

Physical demand in Asia, too, is low as the Chinese are away celebrating the Lunar New Year. Also, gold seems to run into resistance at $1,275 an ounce and it will have to decisively break the barrier to vault higher.

Safe haven status

The consensus on gold is that it is unlikely to top that level soon. The rebound in equities overnight has reduced the yellow metal’s haven status to some extent.

US jobs data

The market will now attempt to take cues from the US jobs data due on Thursday. Before that the ADP employment report later in the day will throw some light on how the economy is progressing.

A slew of manufacturing data due later in the day from Europe will also help the market decide on the future course.

Holdings in gold-backed exchange traded funds improved on Tuesday with the world’s largest gold-backed fund, SPDR Trust, reporting a rise in its holding to 797.05 tonnes.

In India, the rupee’s strength against the dollar will matter since any weakening of the Indian currency makes import of gold, crude oil and vegetable oils costlier.

Spot gold, gold futures

Around mid-day in Asia, spot gold ruled lower at $1,254 an ounce. Gold futures maturing for delivery in April ruled at $1,253.70.

On NCDEX, spot gold closed at Rs 29,725 for 10 gm.

On MCX and NCDEX, gold April contracts could try to hit Rs 28,750.

Crude oil

Crude oil is set to gain on lower distillate stocks in the US. If data, due later in the day, shows economy progressing, there could be more gains.

Brent crude for delivery in March was up at 105.99 a barrel and US crude at $97.61.

Oils & oilseeds

The oils and oilseed market will gain on fears that dry weather in Brazil could affect the late-grown crops. Delays due to cold weather in the US are also aiding the rise.

Chicago Board of Trade soyabean contracts maturing for delivery in March were up at $13.19 a bushel. Crude palm oil April contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange were up at 2,549 ringgit or $768 a tonne.

Wheat, corn

Wheat is set to rise on short-covering and reports that the US winter crop could be hit. A lower-than-estimated surplus in Canada is another booster for the grain. Corn (industrial maize) could also be up on concerns over the crop in South America.

CBOT wheat for delivery in March was up at $5.82 a bushel and corn for the same month at $4.41 a bushel.