Gold Futures Settle Sharply Higher As Dollar Eases After Wages Data
Gold futures ended sharply higher on Friday as the dollar tumbled after data showing wage growth in the U.S. eased in December, raising signs the inflation may be fading amid the Fed’s monetary policy tightening.
The dollar index dropped to 103.94, losing more than 1%.
Gold futures for February ended higher by $29.10 or about 1.6% at $1,869.70 an ounce. Gold futures gained more than 2% in the week.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.558 at $23.982 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.9110 per pound, gaining $0.0900.
Data from the Labor Department showed that non-farm payroll employment jumped by 223,000 jobs in December after surging by a revised 256,000 jobs in November.
Economists had expected employment to shoot up by 200,000 jobs compared to the addition of 263,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The unemployment rate edged down to 3.5% in December from a revised 3.6 percent in November. The unemployment rate was expected to come in unchanged compared to the 3.7% originally reported for the previous month.
Annual wage growth slowed to 4.6% in December from 4.8% in November. Easing wage growth reduced worries over the Fed’s rate-hike trajectory.
Data from the Institute for Supply Management showed that U.S. service sector activity unexpectedly contracted in the month of December.
The ISM said its services PMI tumbled to 49.6 in December from 56.5 in November, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 55.0.
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