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Good US Employment Data Boosts Oil, Weakens Gold

February 3, 2012 at 17:49 by Vladimir Vyun

Crude oil rallied today together with other commodities, while gold declined as traders preferred riskier assets. The major news topic today was US employment that was much better than analysts predicted.

US nonfarm payrolls rose by 243,000 jobs in January. That’s compared to the average forecast of 150,000 and the December growth by 203,000. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, making a pleasant surprise for market participants, who expected it to stay at 8.5 percent.

Carsten Fritsch, analyst at Commerzbank, spoke about the positive impact of the news, but also mentioned a negative side of the employment growth regarding commodity prices:

The jobs data shows the economy is gaining momentum. This is bullish for risk appetite and therefore for commodity prices. However, it may limit the scope for a third round of quantitative easing, and this may limit gains.

March futures for delivery of crude oil gained $1.11 to $97.47 per barrel before trading at $96.89 by 13:42 on NYMEX. Spot price for Brent crude went up from $112.50 to $113.34 per barrel as of 17:41 GMT today on ICE. Gold dropped from $1,758.70 to $1,736.70 on COMEX today.

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

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