Gold prices climbed higher on Friday as data showing a much smaller than expected in addition of jobs in the U.S. in the month of August weakened the dollar and prompted investors to pick up the safe-haven yellow metal.
The dollar index, which slid to 91.95 soon after the release of the jobs data, recovered a bit subsequently, but faltered again and was last seen hovering around 92.00, down 0.25% from the previous close.
Gold futures for December ended up by $22.20 or about 1.2% at $1,833.70 an ounce, the highest settlement since June 16.
Silver futures for December closed higher by $0.884 at $24.802 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.3340 per pound, up $0.0300 from the previous close.
The U.S. Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report showed non-farm payroll employment rose by 235,000 jobs in August after soaring by an upwardly revised 1.053 million jobs in July. Economists had expected employment to jump by about 750,000 jobs compared to the spike of 943,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July, matching economist estimates.
Fed officials recently indicated inflation has reached their target but they need to see further improvement in the labor market before they begin tapering asset purchases and raising interest rates.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that signs of job growth could allow the central bank to dial back its extraordinary efforts to prop up the economy later this year.
“Labor market conditions are improving but turbulent,” Powell said adding that the Fed will continue to monitor incoming data and adjust its policies as needed.