Gold had a hard time making up its mind about Friday's jobs report.
In the 20 minutes before the number came out, gold futures first rose about $10, before promptly giving up those gains. At the second before the number was released at 8:30 a.m. EDT, gold was sitting at $1,356.5 per troy ounce.
On the initial news that the nonfarm payrolls number was more than 100,000 above economists' expectation, gold did what one would probably expect, given the precious metal's function as a bet on market fear and on more stimulative Federal Reserve policy: It gapped down on heavy volume, bottoming out at $1,336.3 in the minute after the release.
Yet once that level was hit, gold staged a major turnabout, rising as high as $1,371.8 at 9:15 EDT.
From there it changed its mind yet again, settling into a range between $1,352 and $1,359, with a volume-weighted average price of $1,355.7 between 9:45 and 11:30. In other words, after the metal traded in an almost 3 percent range over the course of an hour, the actual jobs number made no real difference in the price of gold.