Gold prices rebounded from the lows of the day on Friday to close slightly higher after the U.S. dollar edged lower as February’s U.S. jobs report dampened expectations for a faster rate of rate hikes this year.
Gold futures for April delivery settled up 0.17% at $1,324.00 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, prices were almost unchanged.
Friday’s employment report showed that the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs last month, but average hourly earnings rose by just 0.1% in February for an annual rate of 2.6%, down from 2.8% in January.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.06 in late trade, down 0.11% for the day. A weaker dollar makes dollar denominated gold more attractive for overseas buyers.
The slowdown in wage growth eased some concerns about the Federal Reserve hiking rates more quickly than expected this year.
Expectations for higher interest rates are typically negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.
The dollar had edged lower earlier in the week amid concerns over trade tensions, following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum into the U.S.
The currency regained ground in the following days after the White House said key U.S. trading partners Canada and Mexico would be exempt from the tariffs.
Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver settled up 0.64% at $16.60 a troy ounce, bringing the week’s gains to 0.94%.
Platinum settled at $966.9, up 1.53% for the day to end the week unchanged.
Among base metals, copper for May delivery was up 2.11% at $3.14 in late trade for a weekly gain of 0.48%.
Prices have fallen since hitting four-year highs in December amid concerns over higher interest rates and the prospect of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals.
In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Tuesday’s U.S. inflation data to gauge how it will affect the outlook for monetary tightening in the coming months.
Reports on U.S. retail sales and euro zone inflation will also be closely watched.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, March 12
Japan is to publish preliminary data on machine tool orders.
Tuesday, March 13
Australia is to release a report on business confidence.
The U.S. is to produce data on consumer inflation.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event in Ontario.
Wednesday, March 14
China is to publish data on industrial production and fixed asset investment.
ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Frankfurt.
Later in the day, the U.S. is to release data on retail sales and producer price inflation.
Thursday, March 15
New Zealand is to report on fourth quarter economic growth.
The Swiss National Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement.
The U.S. is to release a string of economic reports, including data on jobless claims, import prices and manufacturing activity in the New York and Philadelphia regions.
Friday, March 16
The euro zone is to publish revised inflation data.
Canada is to report on manufacturing sales.
The U.S. is to round up the week with data on building permits, housing starts and industrial production.