Gold Gets Modest Lift From Downbeat U.S. Jobs Report
(Kitco News) - Gold prices are slightly higher in early U.S. trading Friday, and erased moderate overnight losses in the wake of a U.S. jobs report that was weaker than expected.February Comex gold was last up $1.20 an ounce at $1,322.80. March Comex silver was last up $0.021 at $17.295 an ounce.
Friday morning’s December U.S. employment report from the Labor Department showed a non-farm payrolls rise of 148,000, which was below market expectations. The non-farm payrolls number was forecast to come in at up 180,000. The stronger-than-expected jobs-growth reading in Thursday’s ADP national employment report (up 250,000) made many suspect today’s jobs report would come in with a higher non-farm jobs number than earlier forecast.
The key outside markets on Friday morning see the U.S. dollar index losing most of its overnight gains after the downbeat jobs report. The greenback remains in a downtrend. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are lower on a corrective, profit-taking pullback from recent solid gains.
World stock markets were mostly firmer overnight, boosted by the rally in the U.S. stock market Thursday that saw the iconic Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 25,000 for the first time ever. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins.
In other overnight news, the Euro zone consumer inflation rate was reported at up 1.4% in December, year-on-year. That was down 0.1% from the November reading. Meantime, November producer prices were reported up 2.4%, year-on-year. The European Central Bank wants the Euro zone inflation rate to be closer to 2.0%.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes the international trade in goods and services report, manufacturers’ shipments and inventories, and the non-ISM manufacturing report on business.
Technically, February gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a three-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside technical objective is pushing and closing prices above chart resistance at $1,350.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is closing prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First support is seen at today’s low of $1,317.10 and then at $1,312.70. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $1,327.30 and then at $1,335.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0
March silver bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a three-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. The next upside price breakout objective is closing futures prices above solid technical resistance at the October high of $17.59 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the October low of $16.435. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $17.32 and then at $17.50. Next support is seen at today’s low of $17.175 and then at $17.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.