Gold closed higher on Friday and silver rebounded from a two-year low, but both precious metals were down for the week.
Gold for December delivery rose $13.30, or 0.8%, to $1,722.60 an ounce. Gold, which on Thursday closed at its lowest level since July 20, fell 1.6 percent for the week, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Meanwhile, silver for December delivery added 21 cents, or 1.2%, to $17.881 an ounce, having closed Thursday at its lowest level since June 2020. For the week, it lost 4.6%.
In other metals, platinum for October delivery gained $12.80, or 1.6%, to $818.30 an ounce, down 4.3% on the week, while palladium for December delivery added $29.80, or 1.5 % to $2,026.10 an ounce, down 4.5% on the week.
Meanwhile, copper for December delivery lost one cent, or 0.2%, to $3.4135 a pound, down 7.7% on the week.
Gold, as well as silver, closed higher in the wake of Friday’s release of monthly US employment data.
“The US labor market is strong,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, as data showed the US added 315,000 new jobs in August, broadly in line with Wall Street estimates.
The labor market participation figure has also improved, “an extremely encouraging sign for traders,” Aslam said.
However, “the overall unemployment rate has increased,” Aslam said. The unemployment rate rose to 3.7% in August from 3.5%. “This is a scenario that makes traders now hopeful that the Federal Reserve (Fed) is unlikely to raise interest rates aggressively,” Aslam said. “This factor pushed the dollar index lower and gold prices moved higher because of it.”
Notably, the ICE US Dollar Index fell 0.1% to 109.568 while 10-year Treasury yields fell to 3.2016% from 3.264% on Thursday afternoon. The strengthening of both for the week, however, helped lower gold prices in dollar terms, analysts said.
Jeff Wright, chief investment officer at Wolfpack Capital, told MarketWatch that “rising unemployment” will give the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) “something to think about at the September meeting as employment and price stability remain the focus of her attention.”
“Next week and into September, I’ll be very focused on any inflation data and hints of what’s next after the potential 75 basis point rate hike in mid-September,” Wright said. “Interest in gold is pretty low right now and I don’t see anything changing that in the short term as safe haven demand is almost non-existent.”