Gold Futures Rise 1%, Top $1,200


"Gold jumped more than $12 Friday. . ."

Gold jumped more than $12 Friday, recapturing the $1,200 mark and then some as investors worried about the U.S. employment picture and the dollar continued a steep decline.

Gold futures for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $12.10, or 1%, to $1,211.40/oz. on the Comex.

Gold has gained 2.3% on the week. If prices hold till closing, it is going to be gold's first positive week in four. Gold lost 5% in July, its worst month since December.

The Dollar Index (DXY), which compares the greenback against a basket of six currencies, dropped to 80.31, down from 80.81 in late North American trading Thursday.

The U.S. economy shed 131,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate held steady at 9.5%. Adding to the weak picture in the jobs report, private sector payrolls rose only by an estimated 71,000 in July.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange-traded fund backed by gold, recaptured the 1,282 metric ton level. Holdings, which had been falling steadily since hitting a record of 1.320 metric tons in late June, had dipped to 1,281 metric tons earlier this week.

As of Thursday, however, the latest available day for which statistics are available, the ETF was back at 1,282 metric tons.

Silver, for its turn, was tracking gold futures higher. September silver added 15 cents, or 0.8%, to $18.47/oz. That puts silver's weekly gains so far at 2.6%.

Copper declined, with the September contract losing a penny, or 0.3%, to $3.34/lb. Copper has risen nearly 1% this week, which comes on the heels of a 12% gain for copper in July.

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