Gold slips on jobs data this morning, losing some of its early gains off of a weaker dollar.
Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 1.37 million in August and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4%, signaling the continued climb of the U.S. economy out of the pandemic recession. The unemployment rate marks the lowest since March’s COVID-19 shutdown in March. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting growth of 1.32 million and the jobless rate to decline to 9.8% from 10.2% in July.
Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped after the employment data release. Dow futures traded 200 points higher, or 0.7%. S&P 500 futures were up by 0.3%.
Gold futures fell 0.4% Thursday to settle at $1,937.80 an ounce on Comex. The December contract decreased 1.9% in the first four days of the week. Futures slipped 0.4% in August — even after closing at a high of $2,069.40 on Aug. 6.
The yellow metal is still up more than $400 — or 27% — so far this year as investors have flocked to gold as a hedge against uncertainty as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened and threatened the economy. Currently, the December contract is at $1,937.40 and the DG spot price is $1,930.20.
This morning’s positive jobs data follows yesterday’s report showing new applications for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since the pandemic began per the Labor Department’s weekly initial jobless claims report, however, the decline was attributed to a statistical change rather than more people finding jobs.
On Thursday, the Dow slid more than 800 points, or 2.8%, for its biggest one-day decline since June. The S&P 500 plunged 3.5% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5%. Thursday’s declines also wiped out the major averages’ gains for the week and knocked both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq off record levels.
Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans on Thursday called for more stimulus to prop up the economy and further monetary easing by the central bank to help the economy recover from the pandemic. Stimulus measures are typically considered bullish for gold. The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns has cost millions of Americans their jobs.
The virus known as COVID-19 has killed almost 868,000 people worldwide and sickened 26.2 million. About 23% of the cases — and 22% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has 6.15 million cases, more than any other nation.
Silver futures dropped 1.9% Thursday to settle at $26.88 an ounce on Comex. The December contract declined 3.3% in the first four days of the week. The most active contract gained 18% in August after soaring 30% in July. Currently, the December contract is at $27.025 and the DG spot price is $26.73.
Spot palladium increased 2.8% Thursday to $2,323.10 an ounce and is up 3.9% in the first four days of the week. It rallied 7.6% last month. Spot platinum retreated 1.5% Thursday to $897.90 an ounce and decreased 4.5% in the first four days of the week. It increased 3.5% in August. At post time, the DG spot price for platinum is $909.10 and palladium is $2,321.90.
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