Commodity Blog

Commodity news, technical and fundamental analysis, market data on precious metals, energies, industrial metals, and soft commodities


Gold Falls on Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report, Higher Wage Growth

September 7, 2018 at 14:07 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are tumbling at the end of the holiday-shortened trading week as the US economy added more than 200,000 jobs in August, beating original market forecasts of under 200,000 jobs. With a surging US dollar, the latest employment numbers could give the US central bank the final push to raise interest rates at this month’s policy meeting, a move that would hurt gold prices.

December gold futures slipped $2.30, or 0.19%, to $1,201.90 per ounce at 13:34 GMT on Friday. Gold is on track for a weekly decline of 0.5%, continuing the bearish 2018 trend; year-to-date, the precious metal is down around 10%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is trading relatively flat to finish the trading week. December silver futures edged up $0.004, or 0.03%, to $14.185 per ounce. The white metal is poised to record a steep weekly loss of 2.7%, adding to its 2018 declines of 18%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added 201,000 jobs in August, which is higher than the projected increase of 191,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9%. The biggest jobs gains were found in professional and business services, education, construction, transportation, and hospitality. Average hourly earnings climbed 2.9% to $27.16 an hour, the fastest pace since April 2009.

The news sent the US dollar rallying on Friday as the greenback jumped 0.26% to 95.31. The buck has advanced more than 3% this year, which is bad for dollar-pegged commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

With a booming job market, a strengthening economy, and a ballooning currency, it is all but certain that the Federal Reserve will pull the trigger on a rate hike at its next two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting on September 26–27. According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, the market is betting that there is a 99% chance of increasing the target rate to 1.75% and 2.00%.

Gold is generally sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets.

The rest of the metals market is mixed. December copper futures added $0.01, or 0.35%, to $2.65 per pound. December platinum futures shed $9.00, or 1.14%, to $781.90 an ounce. December palladium futures tacked on $10.50, or 1.09%, to $972.60 per ounce.

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.

Leave a Reply