Gold Treads Higher


"U.S. jobs report and a double digit selloff Thursday boosts price."

Gold prices were rising after a expectation-meeting U.S. jobs report and a double digit selloff on Thursday. Silver also tapped a 31-year high.

Gold for April delivery was adding $12.50 to $1,428.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price today has traded as high as $1,432.50 and as low as $1,413.80. The spot gold price was adding more than $13, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices were adding $0.85 to $35.18 an ounce. U.S. dollar index was flat at $76.44.

Gold prices had been awaiting the nonfarm payroll report for February and picked up steam after the solid, but not blowout, results. Nonfarm added 192,000 jobs and the private sector added 222,000 jobs. Both numbers were in line with expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 8.9%. The good news was already baked into the stock market and equities took a hit on the buy the rumor, sell the news trading strategy. Gold prices suffered Thursday in anticipation of solid numbers and were regaining ground Friday.

A better-than-expected reading might have raised speculation that the Federal Reserve could either alter its $600 billion bond buying program or raise interest rates if the jobs picture continues to improve.

A disappointing reading would have underscored the need for low interest rates for an "extended period of time" despite rising overall inflation and perhaps prompt another wave of safe haven buying.

The news was in-line, however, which would leave the status quo of bond buying and low rates intact, both of which are good for precious metals.

Gold prices also retreated 1.7% from their record intra-day high of $1,441 an ounce, which was attracting bargain hunters and traders who missed the recent rally.

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