Tags: Gold | Jobs | Data | Strong

Gold Advances as Jobs Data Aren't So Strong After All

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 03:27 PM

Gold rose more than 1 percent on Friday, its biggest daily gain in nearly a month, after data showing brisk U.S. employment growth in March unleashed heavy short-covering by bullion investors who had feared the job figures would sharply exceed Wall Street's expectations.

In a brisk turnaround from heavy selling in the days before the release of the data, prices were up 1 percent for the week, the first increase in three weeks.

The Labor Department said U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 192,000 jobs last month, slightly below economists' estimate of 200,000.

Some in the bullion market had expected an even stronger jobs report.

"Everyone had been saying the job number was going to be so much better, but the economy didn't improve the way investors had expected, and that's why the short-sellers are covering their positions," said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president at BullionVault in New York.

Analysts said the figure eased fears of an early interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, lifting assets particularly sensitive to interest rate changes such as gold and U.S. Treasury bonds.

Spot gold rose 1.2 percent to $1,302.91 an ounce by 2:47 p.m. EDT (1847 GMT), having earlier reached $1,306.50 - the highest since March 27.

U.S. Comex gold futures for June delivery settled up $18.90 at $1,303.50 an ounce.

Turnover was not particularly strong, however, with volume at 130,000 lots, about 30 percent below the 30-day average of 200,000 contracts, preliminary Reuters data showed.

Bullion rose as other financial markets were volatile, with U.S. equities, as measured by the S&P 500 index, sliding more than 1 percent after initial gains, and U.S. Treasury yields falling.

"The (jobs) numbers are OK but they are not the boost that the policymakers had been hoping for, so the Fed will have to keep interest rates low for a considerable period of time, and that's what's been supporting gold," said Axel Merk, chief investment officer at California-based Merk Funds, a firm with more than $400 million in currency mutual fund assets.

Silver rose 0.6 percent to $19.91 an ounce, tracking gold's rise.

Earlier, gold prices drew some support after Iraq's central bank said its gold reserves had reached 90 tonnes after it bought 60 tonnes over the past two months.

In physical market news, banks in China have been importing less gold over the past month as demand waned after the festival season, while cheaper prices at home due to a softer yuan also curbed overseas purchases of the precious metal, banking sources and traders said.

Among platinum group metals, platinum climbed 0.7 percent to $1,446.50, and palladium was up 0.3 percent at $786 an ounce.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Gold rose more than 1 percent on Friday, its biggest daily gain in nearly a month, after data showing brisk U.S. employment growth in March unleashed heavy short-covering by bullion investors who had feared the job figures would sharply exceed Wall Street's expectations.
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2014-27-04
Friday, 04 Apr 2014 03:27 PM
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