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Gold Falls on Stellar Jobs Report, Rising US Dollar

April 5, 2019 at 13:08 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are tumbling at the end of the trading week amid a stellar jobs report that beat market expectations. A stronger dollar also sent the yellow metal lower, which will record a tepid weekly loss as investors boost risk appetite.

June gold futures slipped $2.40, or 0.19%, to $1,292.10 per ounce at 12:32 GMT on Friday. Gold prices, which are poised for a three-session skid, will post a weekly decline of about 0.5%, bringing their year-to-date losses to about 0.4%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is looking to muster up some momentum. May silver futures rose $0.005, or 0.03%, to $15.09 an ounce. The white metal is flat for the week, and it is also down more than 3% so far in 2019.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added 196,000 jobs, beating the median estimate of a gain of 172,000 jobs. This an impressive rebound from the previous month’s disappointing labor report. The unemployment rate was flat at 3.8%.

The US government further reported that the average wage paid to American workers climbed four cents, or 0.1%, to $27.70 per hour. The 12-month rate of hourly wage gains fell from 3.4% in February to 3.2% last month. American workers stayed longer at the office in March as hours worked each week edged up 0.1-hour to 34.5 hours.

The US dollar made gains soon after the better-than-expected jobs report was released. The greenback jumped 0.03% to 97.32, though it was relatively flat on the week. YTD, the currency is up more than 1%. A stronger buck is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Any slide in precious metals has been kept in check on geopolitical events and concerns about a global economic slowdown. Traditionally, gold has been treated as a safe-haven asset by investors. This trend was abandoned last year when the US and China were entrenched in a bitter trade dispute as investors poured their money in dollars rather than metals. Washington negotiators have said that they are inching closer to a new trade agreement with Beijing, raising stocks and risk appetites.

In other metal markets, May copper futures added $0.0025, or 0.09%, to $2.9125 per pound. June platinum futures tacked on $3.70, or 0.41%, to $908.20 an ounce. June palladium plunged $8.80, or 0.66%, to $1,323.50 per ounce.