Gold still pressured by Friday’s very positive US jobs numbers that have elevated hopes of an imminent economic recovery. Those hopes added support to global equities, further taking some shine off of gold, although the yellow metal is hanging tough above the $1,720 an ounce mark.
Better-than-expected U.S. jobs data for March — released Friday, when U.S. financial markets were closed for a holiday — spurred the rally in stocks, while President Joe Biden’s announcement last week of a more than $2 trillion job plan added to concerns about inflation, supporting Treasurys.
Front-month gold futures fell 0.4% last week to settle at $1,728.40 an ounce Thursday on Comex. Precious metals trading on Comex was April 2 for Good Friday. The June contract advanced 0.8% Thursday. It slipped 0.8% in March after posting its worst month since 2016 in February. Gold climbed $372 — or 24% — in 2020 because of uncertainty about the economy and the pandemic. Currently, the June contract is down by $3.50 an ounce to $1,724.90 and the G spot price is $1,725.60.
The U.S. economy created the most jobs in seven months in March, with the unemployment rate dropping to 6%. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 916,000, beating economists’ expectations of a 675,000 increase. The moves “reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” according to a statement Friday from the Labor Department.
Biden’s infrastructure plan, which faces opposition from Republicans in Congress, includes allocations for traditional spending, like transportation, along with unconventional items like in-home care for senior citizens, billions of dollars for manufacturing, housing and climate-friendly programs.
In upcoming economic news, investors will be seeking clarity on the state of the economy from the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, which will be published on Wednesday, along with weekly jobless claims on Thursday and remarks from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at an International Monetary Fund panel on Friday.
The COVID-19 virus has killed more than 2.85 million people worldwide and sickened almost 131.2 million. About 23% of the cases — and 19% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has more than 30.7 million cases, more than any other nation.
May silver futures decreased 0.7% last week to $24.95 an ounce, though they rallied 0.7% Thursday on Comex. Silver dropped 7.2% in March after decreasing 1.8% in February, its first retreat in three months. It gained 1.9% in January and 47% in 2020. The May contract is currently down by $0.023 an ounce to $24.925 and the DG spot price is $24.91.
Spot platinum gained 2.7% last week to $1,216.90 an ounce after increasing 1.8% Thursday. It was flat in March after rallying 11% in February amid forecasts for higher demand and tighter supplies. The autocatalyst metal rose 0.5% in January and 11% in 2020. The DG spot price for platinum is currently down by just $1.00 an ounce to $1,209.50.
Spot palladium retreated 0.5% last week to $2,670.50 an ounce, though it rose 1.2% Thursday. Palladium advanced 13% in March. The metal gained 4.9% in February, plummeted 9% in January and rallied 26% in 2020. Currently, the DG spot price is down by $10 an ounce to $2670.50.
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