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Markets

Gold extends rise on US jobs miss

  • Payrolls rise by 235,000 jobs, well below expectations
03 Sep, 2021

Gold extended gains to as much as 1% on Friday as a surprise slowdown in US jobs growth in August drove the dollar lower, potentially prompting the Federal Reserve to go slow on its tapering plans.

Spot gold was up 0.7% at $1,821.15 per ounce by 1254 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 4 at $1,829.31. US gold futures were 0.8% higher at $1,825.10 per ounce.

US job growth slowed sharply in August amid a softening in demand for services and persistent worker shortages as COVID-19 infections soared, although the pace was enough to sustain the economic expansion.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast nonfarm payrolls increasing by 728,000.

The dollar index slipped soon after the report, bolstering gold's appeal for those holding other currencies.

"Gold received a welcome boost from a much weaker (jobs) report," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

Gold consolidates in run up to US payrolls test

"But the fact that gold has failed to break above resistance at $1,835 could indicate some scepticism about whether this means peak growth and delayed taper."

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that if job growth continues, the US central bank could start to cut its asset purchases this year but would remain cautious about raising interest rates.

Some investors view gold as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures, while lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

In physical markets, demand for gold coins and bars remains good, "but institutional buying at the ETF level remains relatively lacklustre and while central bank demand is positive, it is perhaps not as strong as in previous years", independent analyst Ross Norman said.

Silver rose 1.7% to $24.28 per ounce while platinum was 0.7% higher at $1,006.06. Palladium climbed 0.1% to $2,403.39.

"The fact that production is down on account of the chip shortage should really weigh on demand from the automotive industry for platinum, and especially for palladium," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

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