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Futures & Commodities

Gold spikes higher on weak US jobs data, Draghi talks, Trump deal with Democrats

Key Points
  • Dollar index slips to lowest in over a week.
  • ECB keeps door open to more stimulus.
  • The euro rose against the dollar after the ECB raised its 2017 GDP outlook.
Source: World Gold Council

The price of gold rose to a one-year peak on Thursday after the dollar tumbled on the back of weak U.S. jobs data and an unchanged growth and inflation outlook from the European Central Bank.

Spot gold climbed to an intraday peak of $1,348.91 an ounce, the strongest showing since September 2016. It eased 0.3 percent in the previous session. Spot gold was last up 0.92 percent at $1,346.04 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.88 percent to $1,350.80.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped to its highest level in more than two years last week amid a surge in applications in hurricane-ravaged Texas.

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The weak data helped push the dollar index down to 91.405, the lowest since January 2015.

"The weaker U.S. economic data pushed the odds for a rate hike to ground. Clearly the Fed cannot be comfortable with weaker job market and the fact is that worse is still yet to come," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets.

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push up bond yields, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Also pressuring the dollar on Thursday was a resurgent euro, which jumped to a nine-day high after the ECB broadly stuck to its outlook for growth and inflation.

Continuing tensions with North Korea over its nuclear tests provided further support for safe-haven gold.

"Geopolitical tensions remain elevated surrounding North Korea, so I'd expect that would keep gold pretty well supported in the short term and in the week ahead," said Jonathan Butler, commodities analyst at Mitsubishi in London.

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China agreed on Thursday that the United Nations should take more action against North Korea after its latest nuclear test, while also pushing for dialogue to help ease tensions.

The market will soon start to shift its focus to the next U.S. Federal Reserve's next monetary policy meeting, due to begin on Sept. 19.

"I expect some downward pressure on gold starting next week and a rebound in the dollar short-term," said Samson Li, an analyst with Thomson Reuters-owned metals consultancy GFMS.

Silver rose 1.23 percent to $18.05 an ounce, while platinum increased 1.05 percent to $1,013.55 an ounce. Palladium added 1.67 percent to $955.20 an ounce.