Spot gold edged lower on Monday, retaining most of its gains from the previous session, as a dismal growth outlook after last week's U.S. jobs data supported safe-haven interest in bullion.
U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August, reviving recession fears and piling pressure on both President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve to provide more stimulus to aid the frail economy.
The bleak outlook of the world's largest economy sent anxious investors to safe haven assets including bullion.
Even if you take out the effect from the Verizon strike, it is still a lousy number and people are concerned that growth is not there any more, said Dominic Schnider, head of commodity research of UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
He expected the recession fear to send gold to test its record high above $1,911 hit in late August, and to $2,200 in the next three months.
Technical analysis echoed Schnider's expectations. Spot gold may rise towards the record of $1,911.46 later in the day, as it has resumed its long-term uptrend, said Reuters market analyst Wang Tao.
Spot gold edged down 0.3 percent to $1,878.50 an ounce by 0635 GMT, after surging 3.2 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,881.40.
Amid concerns about the resurgent debt crisis in Europe, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday said he still expected modest growth in Europe and did not anticipate a recession.
The market has been a bit choppy -- some sold to book profit earlier and many are waiting for cues for further stimulus from the Fed, said a Hong Kong-based dealer.
Market participants will also closely watch U.S. President Barack Obama's speech on Sept 7 to unveil new economic proposals to Congress.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange will raise trading limits and margin requirements on its gold and silver forward contracts on Sept. 9 to prevent excessive volatility.
Money managers cut their net long positions in U.S. gold futures and options for a fourth week in a row in the week ended Aug. 30, as bullion prices pulled off an all-time high set a week earlier, data showed on Friday.
Spot platinum hit a two-week high of $1,885.50, before easing to $1,869.
The platinum-gold spread dipped into negative territory on Friday and remained at a discount of $11, which may help increase platinum's appeal to investors.