Gold prices rebound and dollar slips on positive U.S. jobs report

Gold prices rebounded 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 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 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.

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