- `The jobs report shows a brighter economic picture': RJO
- Futures advanced 17% in the first quarter, most since 1986
Gold futures declined the most in more than a week after the U.S. economy added more jobs than forecast in March and wages picked up, reducing demand for the metal as a store of value.
The 215,000 gain in payrolls, according to a government report Friday, compares with the 205,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Average hourly earnings increased 0.3 percent from a month earlier, while the jobless rate crept up to 5 percent as more people entered the labor force.
Gold rose 17 percent in the first three months of the year, the biggest quarterly surge since 1986, as the U.S. Federal Reserve kept rates steady after an increase in December. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said this week that it’s appropriate for U.S. central bankers to “proceed cautiously” in raising interest rates because the world economy presents heightened risks.
“The jobs report shows a brighter economic picture, especially the fact that wages have increased,” Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “That’s enough for gold to trade lower today.”
Gold futures for June delivery fell 1 percent to settle at $1,223.50 an ounce at 1:56 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal ended the week unchanged.
In exchange-traded funds and other metals:
- Holdings in ETFs backed by gold increased by 1 metric ton on Thursday to 1,762.3 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
- Silver futures fell on the Comex, while platinum and palladium declined on the New York Mercantile Exchange.