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Gold Gains After Disappointing US Jobs Report, Intensifying Trade War

April 6, 2018 at 15:48 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are rallying to finish off the trading week, which is allowing the yellow metal to record a modest weekly gain. Investors are diving into gold following an underwhelming March jobs report and growing concerns that the China-US trade war is intensifying.

June gold futures advanced $7.60, or 0.67%, to $1,336.00 per ounce at 15:26 GMT on Friday. Gold prices are poised for a weekly gain of 0.47%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is trading in the red at the end of the trading week. May silver futures dipped $0.02, or 0.15%, to $16.33 an ounce. The white metal is on track for a weekly loss of 0.15%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy created 103,000 jobs in March, the smallest gain in about eight months. The unemployment rate stood still at 4.1%, a 17-year low. Wages did pick up steam as they climbed eight cents, or 0.3%, to $26.82 per hour. The 12-month increase in pay edged up to 2.7%, from 2.6%.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued a statement following the release of March’s labor situation:

Average hourly earnings in March rose by 2.7% over the previous 12 months, and the 3-month average increase in earnings is the highest since 2009.  This trend is welcome news to American families.  As job creators compete to hire American workers, we hope wage growth continues.

President Trump’s tax reform continues to fuel economic growth as Americans see more money in their paychecks.  Looking forward, Congressional action on the President’s infrastructure plan will drive continued growth.

The US dollar is slipping on Friday as the greenback shed 0.29% to 90.19. The buck could post a weekly gain of 0.05%. A stronger currency is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase gold and silver.

Wall Street is still being rattled by trade war concerns. The leading stock indexes are deep in the red, tumbling as much as 1.5%. President Donald Trump has already warned investors that the markets will feel “a little pain” before the trade standoff between Washington and Beijing comes to an end.

He told WABC Radio’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program on Friday:

I [am] not saying there won’t be a little pain. So we might lose a little of it but we [are] going to have a much stronger country when we [are] finished, and that [is] what I [am] all about.

The presidents remarks come a day after he reportedly requested his administration to consider additional tariffs on about $100 billion worth of Chinese imports, which sent US stock futures falling. He alluded to “China’s unfair retaliation” in response to the list of current and proposed levies.

Other metals are also in the red. May copper futures dropped $0.0295, or 0.96%, to $3.045 per pound. May platinum futures slid $0.50, or 0.05$, to $914.80 an ounce. May palladium futures slumped $3.10, or 0.34%, to $897.00 per ounce.

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