Weekly Round-Up: Gold Down on Solid Jobs Report

Precious Metals
Precious Metals Investing

Precious metals were down for the week on the back of a positive US jobs report. Meanwhile, both copper and oil ticked up to close out the week.

The gold price found itself in a downward motion for the third day in a row after the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 313,000 jobs were created in February.

While gold is down, it is only heading for a mild 0.5-percent weekly decrease. As of 10:48 a.m. EST on Friday (March 9), the yellow metal sat at $1,321.60 per ounce — down $3 from this time last week.

The upbeat jobs report, which was released early Friday morning, resulted in a strengthened dollar index and stock gains. The report shows that 313,000 jobs were created February, while economists only predicted an increase of around 200,000. 

Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economists, noted that February’s job gains were the biggest in 18 months, and stated, “[t]his is more evidence that the Fed will need to hike four times this year, starting later this month.”

That could be bad news for gold, which tends to fare better when rates are low; that’s because higher interest increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

For its part, silver was up by the end of the week. As of 11:57 a.m. EST on Friday, silver sat at $16.63 an ounce. Much like gold, the grey metal was impacted by the better-than-expected jobs report.

However, silver is the weaker of the two major precious metals and it looks as though that will continue even with futures market positioning suggesting that may soon change.

Rounding out the week in metals is copper, which was down for the week but made slight gains on Friday. As of 12:07 p.m. EST, copper was trading at $3.13 per pound.

The base metal dropped close to its 2018 lows on Thursday (March 8) after customs data showed imports of raw materials by China weakening sharply in February.

Meanwhile, oil was up more than 2 percent after two days of selloffs amid optimism over a planned meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

According to Reuters, the proposed meeting caused Brent crude to rise $1.01 from its previous close and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures to tick up 83 cents.

Also bullish for oil prices is the fact that Libya’s 70,000-barrel-per-day El Feel oilfield stayed shut despite the petroleum facilities guard reporting that it had reached a deal to reopen it.

As of Friday at 12:32 p.m. EST, oil was sitting at $61.75 per barrel.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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