Gold prices recoup some of their recent losses ahead of U.S. jobs data

Gold prices recoup some of their recent losses ahead of U.S. jobs data

Gold still seen supported by trade war uncertainty

Gold futures finished higher Thursday, recouping much of the losses suffered a day earlier, as traders awaited monthly domestic employment data due at the end of the week, which may influence haven demand for the precious metal.

Gold for February delivery GCG20, -1.15% on Comex added $2.90, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,483.10 an ounce, following a loss of 0.3% on Wednesday. March silver SIH20, -2.05% rose 14.3 cents, or 0.9%, to $17.059 an ounce, on the back of a 1.9% loss a day earlier.

“Traders are awaiting the U.S. economic data point of the week, if not the month: Friday’s employment situation report from the Labor Department,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com.

“The key nonfarm payroll number is expected to come in at up around 185,000 jobs,” he said in a daily note. See MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar.

“Wednesday’s ADP national employment report for November came in at up just 67,000 jobs, which is a big miss to the downside from market expectations for a rise of 150,000 and has many thinking Friday’s job’s number will be a downside miss, too,” said Wyckoff. Downbeat economic data tends to support haven demand for gold.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans who applied for first-time unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in seven months in the week ended Nov. 30, falling 10,000 from the previous week to 203,000.

Gold rallied earlier in the week as equities saw sharp losses amid jitters over U.S.-China trade talks. Stocks bounced higher Wednesday and futures pointed to further gains on Thursday after news reports indicated negotiations remained on track.

“Trade uncertainty and global economic weakness will keep gold prices supported in the short-term,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note.

Recession concerns remain after data showed a fall in German manufacturing orders in October, he said.

U.S. factory orders, meanwhile, rose 0.3% in October, the Commerce Department said Thursday. This is the first gain in three months.

January platinum PLF20, -0.43% declined 0.1% to $900.60 an ounce, while March PAH20, +0.04% added 0.02% to $1,845.70 an ounce.

March copper HGH20, +1.01% rose 0.2% to $2.663 a pound.

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