Gold holds above $1,900 after this morning’s disappointing payroll numbers, hanging onto the boost it received over night following the news the President Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Gold still looks to mark its best week in nearly two months
The Labor Department reporting nonfarm payroll rose by a lower than expected 661,000 in September and the unemployment rate was 7.9%. Economists has forecast a gain of 800,000 jobs. This is the final monthly jobs report before the November election.
Earlier Friday, gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,922.20. as investors sought safe-haven assets after U.S. President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19. U.S. stock index futures sank as much as 2% on the headlines.
Gold had fallen late Thursday as the dollar strengthened and bipartisan talks to reach a new U.S. stimulus package failed. Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a stimulus measure 214-207 after talks between U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin broke down. The measure would have to pass the Republican-controlled Senate and be signed by President Donald Trump to become a law, which is unlikely. Stimulus actions are usually bullish for gold.
Gold futures rose 1.1% Thursday to settle at $1,916.30 an ounce on Comex, the highest close in more than a week. The December contract gained 2.7% in the first four days of the week. The yellow metal lost 4.2% in September. Gold is up almost $400 — or 26% — so far this year as investors have flocked to gold because of uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. Currently, the December contract is at $1,907.80, while the DG spot price is $1,900.30.
In other economic news, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing showed expansion in September, but the figures from the Institute for Supply Management released Thursday came in lower than economists had anticipated. The ISM’s gauge of factory activity decreased to 55.4 from 56 in August — a figure that had been the strongest since late 2018. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below 50 indicate contraction.
And another 837,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, fewer than the 850,000 expected and the 873,000 reported for the prior week. It was the fifth straight week that claims were below 1 million, and continuing claims were also lower than expected. But levels are still well above pre-pandemic days. COVID-19-related lockdowns have cost millions of Americans their jobs.
The virus known as COVID-19 has killed more than 1.02 million people worldwide and sickened 34.2 million. About 21% of the cases — and 20% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has 7.28 million cases, more than any other nation.
Silver futures rose 3.2% Thursday to settle at $24.25 an ounce on Comex. The December contract rallied 5% in the first four days of the week. But the most active contract plunged 18% in September after gaining 18% in August and soaring 30% in July. The December contract for silver is off about $.22 to $24.030, while the DG spot price is $23.89.
Spot palladium increased 0.8% Thursday to $2,342.90 an ounce. It’s up 5% so far this week and advanced 1.9% in September. Spot platinum gained 0.6% Thursday to $910.00 an ounce. It’s up 6.5% so far this week and fell 3.7% in September. The current DG spot price for platinum is down a little over $7 an ounce to $896.20, while palladium is steady at $2,331.90.
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