Gold Surges on Weak U.S. Data

Aug 03, 2018

Gold prices were higher on Friday after disappointing jobs data pushed the U.S. dollar lower.

Comex gold futures for August delivery rose 0.57% to $1,227.10 a troy ounce as of 10:58 AM ET (14:58 GMT), but still remained near two-week lows. A stronger dollar and rising interest rates have weighed on gold in recent months.

Meanwhile, the number of jobs added to the economy was less than expected in June, but still strong enough to keep the Federal Reserve on track to gradually increase interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls (NFP) rose by 157,000 in July, according to official data released on Friday.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, but pointed to the potential for increased rate hikes due to strong U.S. economic data.

Higher rates are a negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.

The precious metal was boosted after the dollar fell due to the tepid jobs report. Gold falls as the dollar rises, as it is denominated in the U.S. currency and is sensitive to moves in the dollar.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, slumped 0.13% to 94.88.

Bullion becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies when the dollar rises and cheaper when it falls.

Other metals were mostly up on the Comex, with Silver futures rising 0.97% to $15.535 a troy ounce. Among other precious metals, Platinum Futures rose 1.68% to $842.10, while Palladium Futures decreased 0.38% to $912.00 an ounce. Copper futures rose 0.68% to $2.756 a pound.