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Gold Surges to Five-Month High on Weak Jobs Report, Syria Attack

April 7, 2017 at 17:47 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are climbing on Friday amid a weak US jobs report and rising global security fears. The yellow metal surged to its highest level in five months as investors seek out safe-haven assets. Gold is on track for its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

June gold futures rose $7.40, or 0.60%, to $1,260.70 per ounce at 17:15 GMT on Friday. Gold prices are trading at their highest levels since December. Gold is poised to record its fourth straight weekly gain as the precious metal has advanced 1.5%.

Silver is remaining relatively flat to end the trading week. May silver futures tumbled $0.01, or 0.09%, to $18.23 an ounce. Silver is recording a modest weekly gain of about 1%.

The precious metals are seeing increased demand as traders allocate their money into safe-haven assets. Year-to-date, gold has jumped more than 10%, while silver has increased nearly 14%. Gold reported an 8.1% gain in the first quarter. The 200-day moving average for gold is sitting at $1,269.

Investors are spooked after US President Donald Trump ordered the military on Thursday evening to launch at least 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria that was reportedly responsible for the chemical gas attack on Tuesday. This dramatically raises geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia and China. Traders are paying attention to the president’s sitdown meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which will likely include talks about North Korea becoming a considerable global threat.

Gold was further supported by a weak US jobs report on Friday. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the US economy created only 98,000 jobs, far below the estimated 185,000 jobs that were predicted by economists. The unemployment rate did fall from 4.7% to 4.5%.

Some expect that this disappointing jobs report may give pause to the Federal Reserve over future hikes to interest rates. Gold is usually sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it lifts the opportunity cost and sends investors into yield-bearing assets. The US central bank has penciled in at least two more rate hikes this year.

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