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Gold Falls Under $1,300 Amid Upbeat Jobs Report

June 1, 2018 at 14:56 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures have dipped below the key $1,300 threshold after a positive jobs report. The yellow metal is on track for its lowest settlement in more than a week and is poised for a small weekly decline.

August gold futures tumbled $6.50, or 0.50%, to $1,298.20 per ounce at 14:33 GMT on Friday. Gold prices could finish the trading session at their lowest levels since May 23, while they are ready to record a weekly drop of roughly 0.6%. Gold suffered a 1.7% loss last month.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is relatively flat to close the holiday-shortened trading week. July silver futures slipped $0.013, or 0.08%, to $16.44 an ounce. The white metal, which shed nearly 1% of its value in May, will also post a weekly dip of about 0.4%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy added 223,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8%. This beats the market forecast of 188,000 jobs and a jobless rate of 3.9%. The employment gains were mostly seen in retail, healthcare, construction, professional, transportation, and manufacturing.

Hourly wages edged up 8 cents, or 0.3%, to $28.92 last month, bringing the 12-month increase in wages to 2.7%, up from 2.6% in April.

The upbeat news helped the US dollar rally on Friday as the greenback surged 0.28% to 94.25. A strengthening buck is bad for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Meanwhile, the latest trends in the labor market may add more fuel to the Federal Reserve and its path to normalizing interest rates. Analysts anticipate the US central bank will pull the trigger on a rate hike at this month’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. According to the CME Group Fed Watch tool, there is a 94% chance of a June rate hike.

In other metals, July copper futures jumped $0.016, or 0.52%, to $3.081 per pound. July platinum futures slid $3.40, or 0.37%, to $906.70 an ounce. July palladium futures rose $2.70, or 0.28%, to $984.40 per ounce.

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