Gold Futures Settle Higher For The Day, But Sheds 1.7% In Week

Gold futures climbed higher on Friday, rebounding after recent sharp decline, as disappointing U.S. non-farm payrolls data pushed up the demand for the safe-haven asset.

Gold futures for February ended higher by $8.20 or about 0.5% at $1,797.40 an ounce. However, gold futures suffered a loss of 1.7% in the week, the worst weekly loss in three weeks.

Silver futures for March ended up by $0.219 at $22.409 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.4100 per pound, up $0.0555 from the previous close.

The Labor Department’s report showed much weaker than expected job growth in the month of December. However, the unemployment rate still fell by more than expected.

The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 199,000 jobs in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 249,000 jobs in November. Economists had expected employment to jump by 400,000 jobs compared to the addition of 210,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate slid to 3.9% in December from 4.2% in November. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 4.1%.

With the bigger than expected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 3.5% in February of 2020.

Still, expectations of a rate hike in the foreseeable future limited gold’s uptick. The minutes of the latest Fed meeting suggested the central bank could begin raising interest rates and shrinking its balance in the near future in an effort to combat elevated inflation.

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