Gold futures climbed on Friday, on track to post a weekly rise, but traded below the session’s best level following a stronger-than-expected monthly rise in the U.S. jobs market.
The jobs data was in “such contrast” to the ADP private-sector jobs report from Wednesday, Peter Spina, president and chief executive officer at GoldSeek.com, told MarketWatch. ADP had said U.S. businesses shed 301,000 jobs in January, which was the biggest drop since the start of the pandemic.
With lowered expectations in hand, the strong U.S. jobs reading on Friday “knocked gold’s price rise in Europe — as it was nearing its next big technical resistance around the $1,820 area,” said Spina.
Payrolls were expected to be weak because the spread of the omicron variant was peaking at the time when the government was compiling labor data last month. However, the U.S. added a robust 467,000 jobs in January and hiring was much stronger at the end of 2021 than originally reported. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 150,000 new jobs.
On Comex, gold for April delivery GC00, +0.04% GCJ22, +0.04% rose $3.60, or 0.2%, to $1,807.70 an ounce — down from an intraday high of $1,815.80. March silver SI00, +0.20% SIH22, +0.20% was up 19 cents, or 0.9%, at $22.75 an ounce.
Gold was headed for a weekly rise of 1.2%, while silver has advanced about 1.3%.
Gold has gained ground despite continued expectations the Federal Reserve will move aggressively to raise interest rates, likely beginning in March, and take other actions to withdraw monetary stimulus in an effort to rein in inflation. Recent stock-market volatility may be providing some haven-related support for the yellow metal, analysts said.
“While gold would typically come under threat in an environment where interest rates are rising due to its lack of a yield, its appeal as a haven asset at times of crisis and stock market plunges suggest that investors continue to see value in holding gold and it is premature to write the economic recovery story,” said Rupert Rowling, market analyst at Kinesis Money, in a note.
The gold market, overall, is showing strength, said GoldSeek.com’s Spina.
On Thursday, prices fell below the key $1,800 mark, but strong buying support entered the market, quickly reversing the fall, he said. “This is a sign of strength.”
“Upward price moves now will place greater pressures on key overhead resistances,” said Spina. “Over the coming several weeks, I do expect the price to make a run towards $1,920 and even much higher. It will remain volatile and is not immune to falling hard again.”
““Inflation and real negative rates are going to keep fueling the gold price to new record dollar highs. The stage is set.””
— Peter Spina, GoldSeek.com
Still, as long as prices remain above $1,750 and selloffs get rejected, the price is going to finally make its long awaited breakout, he said. “Inflation and real negative rates are going to keep fueling the gold price to new record dollar highs. The stage is set.”
Among other metals traded on Comex, March copper HGH22, -0.70% shed 0.2% to $4.463 a pound, trading more than 3% higher for the week. April platinum PLJ22, -0.83% lost 0.6% to $1,023.90 an ounce, but eyed a weekly rise of 1.7%. March palladium PAH22, -0.44% traded at $2,308 an ounce, down 0.4% for the session, and on track for a weekly loss of 2.8%.