Gold Futures Retreat After Early Gains, Settle Lower

Gold futures came off two-week highs and settled lower on Friday as a recovery in the stock markets dimmed the commodity’s safe-haven appeal a bit.

Gold prices had moved higher in Asian trading, reacting to a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump revealing that he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19.

With the news raising uncertainty about the upcoming presidential election, the stock index futures plummeted and gold prices moved higher.

However, with the latest batch of economic data raising concerns about the economy and triggering hopes about more stimulus, stocks regained much of the lost ground and gold prices retreated.

The dollar index was steady at 93.82, up 0.11% from the previous close.

Gold futures for December ended down $8.70 or about 0.5% at $1,907.60 an ounce, losing ground after rising to $1,923.60 an ounce earlier in the day, from a low of $1,895.20 an ounce touched in the Asian session.

Gold futures gained about 2.2% for the week.

Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.225 at $24.029 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.9775 per pound, gaining $0.1120 for the session.

Data from the Labor Department showed job growth in the U.S. slowed by much more than expected in the month of December, with non-farm payroll employment rising by 661,000 jobs, well short of an expected increase of 850,000 jobs. In August, non-farm payroll employment spiked by an upwardly revised 1.489 million jobs.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the report said the unemployment rate slid to 7.9% in September from 8.4% in August. The unemployment rate was expected to dip to 8.2%.

According to a report released by the Commerce Department today, factory orders rose by 0.7% in August after soaring by an upwardly revised 6.5% in July. Economists had expected orders to jump by 1% compared to the 6.4% spike originally reported for the previous month.

The report said orders for durable goods increased by 0.5%, while orders for non-durable goods climbed by 0.8%.

Meanwhile, revised data released by the University of Michigan showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. improved by more than previously estimated in the month of September, with the index upwardly revised to 80.4 from the preliminary reading of 78.9. Economists had expected the index to be upwardly revised to 79.0.

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