Gold Rises to Five-Month High as Jobs Fizzle Adds to Demand

Updated on
  • U.S. payroll gains slowed in March, government report shows
  • Jobs data comes after U.S. missile strike boosted haven deamnd

The Geopolitical Risks Syria Poses on Markets

Gold futures extended gains to the highest since November after the American economy added fewer jobs last month than forecast, boosting demand for the metal as a haven after the U.S launched a missile strike against Syria.

The 98,000 increase in payrolls followed a 219,000 rise in February that was less than previously estimated, a government report showed Friday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 180,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent, and wage gains slowed to a 2.7 percent year-over-year pace.

Gold, which rose before the jobs report as the attack on Syria jolted financial markets, headed for the third weekly gain in four weeks. Futures broke through the 200-day moving average, indicating upward momentum, and are up about 10 percent this year. The employment data comes at the end of a week when strong private payrolls data and weak automaker sales gave conflicting signals on the strength of the economy.

“We saw a further move higher on the disappointing payrolls number,” said Brad Yates, head of trading for Elemetal, one of the biggest U.S. gold refiners. “You’ve got people doing safe-haven seeking. Gold broke through its 200-day moving average. That has some shorts covering and potentially a new leg higher.”

Bullion futures for June delivery rose 1.2 percent to $1,268.80 an ounce at 8:51 a.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,273.30, the highest since Nov. 10.

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