Gold slips on jobs report this morning, taking a bit of shine off a positive week. Lingering uncertainty over the potential U.S.-China trade deal kept the yellow more attractive as a hedge over the past few days.
This morning’s non-farm payroll numbers surged, up 266,000. The expected increase was 180,000. This is the biggest jump since January. The end of the GM strike boosted employment in motor vehicles and parts by 41,300, part of an overall 54,000 gain in manufacturing.
This positive jobs report should reduce the urgency for an accord with China and justify a Federal Reserve decision — widely expected next week — to keep interest rates unchanged.
The Fed has cut interest rates at the past three policy meetings. The CME FedWatch Tool showed a 99.3% probability that the Federal Open Market Committee would keep rates unchanged Dec. 11, while there were 0.7% odds on a hike.
February gold futures rose 0.2% Thursday to settle at $1,483.10 an ounce on Comex. They were up 0.7% during the first four days of the week and slid 2.8% in November. Currently, the February contracts are at $1,468.
Gold may be consolidating ahead of another move to the upside, Jeff deGraaf, chairman of Renaissance Macro Research, said in note Thursday, according to MarketWatch. The metal is starting to show some strength as it breaks above key resistance levels, he said, adding that “gold may be gearing up for another run, and we think it’s worth owning here.”
Adding to investor uncertainty that may bolster precious metals, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the Democratic-controlled House will begin drafting articles of impeachment against Trump, meaning a House vote is likely before Christmas, with a trial in the Republican-majority Senate anticipated next month.
Silver climbed 1.1% Thursday, with the March futures contract settling at $17.06 an ounce on Comex. Futures slid 0.3% in the first four days of the week and fell 5.3% in November. Spot platinum and palladium also both rose Thursday and so far this week.
Asian equities were slightly higher and the dollar little changed early Friday.
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