Gold Futures Settle Notably Higher As Dollar Retreats After Jobs Data

Gold prices moved higher on Friday as the dollar turned a bit easy amid slightly easing worries about rate hikes after data showed an uptick in U.S. unemployment rate in the month of August.

The dollar index, which rose to a fresh 20-year high of 109.98 in the previous session, dropped to 108.93 in late morning trades today before recovering to around 109.60, cutting its loss to less than 0.1%.

Gold futures for December ended higher by $13.30 or about 0.8% at $1,722.60 an ounce. Gold futures shed more than 1% in the week.

Silver futures for December ended up $0.215 at $17.881 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.4135 per pound, up $0.0070 from the previous close.

The report showed non-farm payroll employment rose by 315,000 jobs in August after surging by a revised 526,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to increase by about 300,000 jobs compared to the jump of 528,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate edged up to 3.7 percent in August from 3.5 percent in July. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

The unexpected uptick by the unemployment rate came as the labor force increased by 786,000 persons, more than outpacing the 442,000-person growth in the household measure of employment.

Amid recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates, the jobs data was described as a "goldilocks" report by some economists, coming in neither too hot nor too cold.

Meanwhile, data released by the Commerce Department showed factory orders slumped by 1% in July after surging by a revised 1.8% in June.

The steep drop surprised economists, who had expected factory orders to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 2% jump originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected pullback in factory orders was partly due to a notable decrease in orders for non-durable goods, which tumbled by 1.9% in July after shooting up by 1.4% in June.

The report also showed durable goods orders edged down by 0.1% in July after spiking by 2.3% in June. Last week, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders were virtually unchanged.

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