Gold Prices Dip on Jobs Report


"Prices dip after Thursday's sudden, violent rally."

Gold prices were slightly lower Friday as investors digested gold's violent and sudden rally Thursday and an underwhelming report on jobs.

Gold for April delivery was down $1 to $1,352 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The spot gold price has traded as high as $1,361 and as low as $1,346.50. The spot gold price was shedding more than $8, according to Kitco's gold index.

The U.S. dollar index was rising 0.42% to $78.14 as the euro slipped to $1.35 vs. the dollar.

Gold prices had been shielding themselves for a good jobs number with the unemployment rate expected to rise to 9.5% because more people entered the labor force while the private sector is expected to add 160,000 jobs. However, the U.S. economy added only 36,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 9%. Still, Wall Street seemed to shrug off the data.

Monthly jobs data is a lagging indicator. Better manufacturing data, factory orders, and higher activity in the service sector all point to economic expansion with the labor market to follow.

Digesting the jobs number is the least of investors' worries. Gold prices popped 1.5% Thursday with the two culprits being Ben Bernanke and Jean-Claude Trichet. Both central bank leaders reiterated their commitment to low interest rates despite acknowledging rising food and energy prices.

Although the headlines were nothing new, rumors had been circulating that Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke would raise rates as the U.S. economy strengthened and European Central Bank President Trichet would also curb growth to fight inflation, which he particularly detests.

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