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Gold futures settled higher on Friday, extending gains to a third straight session and at a one-week high, after the dollar weakened and the yields on long-term U.S. bonds dropped.

Worries about a surge in the Delta variant of the coronavirus cases and travel curbs in several countries contributed as well to the increased demand for the safe-haven yellow metal.

Investors also reacted to the data from the Labor Department that showed a bigger than expected increase in U.S. non-farm payrolls growth in the month of June.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury Note dropped to 1.43%.

The dollar index dropped to 92.25, losing nearly 0.4%, after showing some strength in the Asian session.

Gold futures for August ended up by $6.50 or about 0.4% at $1,783.30 an ounce.

Silver futures for September ended higher by $0.401 at $26.501 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $4.2760 per pound, gaining $0.0400.

The U.S. Labor Department’s report showed a continued reacceleration in the pace of U.S. job growth in the month of June. The report showed non-farm payroll employment spiked by 850,000 jobs in June after surging by an upwardly revised 583,000 jobs in May.

Economists had expected employment to jump by about 700,000 jobs compared to the addition of 559,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate unexpectedly inched up to 5.9% in June from 5.8% in May. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 5.7%.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit widened roughly in line with estimates in the month of May.


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