Gold aims for third weekly gain, even after slipping 0.1% to $1,866.27 per ounce from a near one-month high of $1,873.79 early in the trading day.This morning’s positive payroll data has had little effect on the bullion.
U.S. labor numbers beat expectations with nonfarm payrolls increasing by 390,000 in May, well above the estimated 328,000. Thus far, gold has only drifted down a tad. The U.S. unemployment rate stayed at 3.6% and average hourly earnings rose less than expected, but still topped the 5.2% from a year ago.
August gold futures rose 1.2% Thursday to settle at $1,871.40 an ounce on Comex. The most-active contract advanced 0.8% so far this week. U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday, and there was no settlement on the holiday. Gold dropped 3.3% in May, its worst month since September. It retreated 3.5% in 2021. The August contract is currently down $8.40 (-0.45%) an ounce to $1,863.00 and the DG spot price is $1,865.00.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, slipped 0.1% Thursday to 1,066.04 metric tons, Reuters reported.
A report released Thursday showed U.S. private payrolls rose less than expected last month. The negative economic report was supportive for gold, which is often considered a safe-haven asset. The ADP employment report showed an increase of only 128,000 jobs in May, the smallest gain of the pandemic-recovery period. The figure missed the 299,000 estimated by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.
Investors are closely watching the labor market and other indicators for clues on the state of the economy and whether it might be entering a slowdown. The reports may also provide hints on what the Federal Reserve may do at its next meeting to combat high inflation without derailing economic growth.
Most investors expect the Fed to raise rates another half percentage point at policymakers’ next scheduled meeting in June 15, according to the CME’s FedWatch Tool. The central bank increased benchmark rates by half a percentage point in May, in the second rate hike of 2022 and the largest in 22 years. Rate increases are typically considered bearish for gold.
U.S. inflation slowed to 6.3% in April from a 40-year high of 6.6% in March, data released Friday showed. It was the first decline in the personal consumption index in a year and a half.
Gold retained support from pandemic uncertainty and the war in Ukraine.
Front-month silver futures gained 1.6% Thursday to settle at $22.28 an ounce on Comex. The July futures increased 0.8% so far this week. Silver dropped 6.1% in May after losing 8.2% in April. It retreated 12% in 2021. Silver prices are tied to industrial demand. The July contract is currently down slightly by $0.005 (-0.02%) an ounce to $22.270 and the DG spot price is $22.29
Spot palladium rose 1.8% Thursday to $2,066.50 an ounce, but is down 1.1% so far this week. The metal lost 14% in May, the biggest monthly decline since September. It retreated 22% in 2021. Currently, the DG spot price is down $24.00 an ounce to $2,053.50.
Spot platinum jumped 2.3% Thursday to $1,034.10 an ounce and is up 7.5% so far this week. It gained 2.3% last month and lost 9.4% last year. The current DG spot price is up $6.20 an ounce to $1,038.00.
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