Futures & Commodities

Gold falls over 2% as strong US jobs data boosts recovery bets

A worker tends to gold bars at a precious metals plant.
Andrew Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices dipped more than 2% on Friday as hopes for a global economic rebound got a boost from stronger-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls data, reducing demand for safe havens.

Spot gold slid 1.9% to $1,678.81 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled down 2.6% to $1,683.

Bullion has declined about 2.6% so far this week, on track for its biggest fall since the week ending March 13.

"We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers - an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million - that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, "meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up," Melek added.

Wall Street surged following a crash into bear territory as the latest U.S. data showed a drastic fall in unemployment to 13.3% in May from 14.7% in April as layoffs abated.

The data comes ahead of a two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve next week. The central bank has injected massive stimulus and cut interest rates to near zero to cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

However, "we've still got economic uncertainty, trade tensions, problems in the (United) States," said INTL FCStone analyst Rhona O'Connell. "For the longer term, the influences are definitely more positive (for gold) than negative."

Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.7% to $1,945.81 per ounce, while platinum dropped 2.3% to $817.49.

Silver slipped 2.3% to $17.32 per ounce, and was set for its first weekly decline in five.