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Gold prices near session highs following disappointing ADP employment data

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(Kitco News) - The gold market is holding above critical psychological level of $1,850 and momentum appears to be picking up following weaker than expected private-sector employment gains, according to the latest report from private-payrolls process ADP.

Thursday, ADP said that 128,000 jobs were created this past month, missing expectations; consensus forecasts were calling for job growth of around 300,000.

April’s employment numbers were also revised lower. The report notes that this is the slowest pace of job growth in the last 12 months.

The gold market was already in positive territory ahead of the disappointing labor market data and bullish momentum is started to pick up in initial reaction. August gold futures last traded at $1,860.1, up 0.62% on the day.

While the data was softer than expected, some economists note that it could help to ease wage inflation, which could give the Federal Reserve some room to tighten its monetary policy less aggressive than markets are currently expecting.

Markets see the U.S. central bank raising interest rates by 50 basis points at the next three meetings.

“The market isn't at all worried about employment and a bit of softening will ease the pressure on wages and prices,” said Adam Button, chief currency strategist at

Economists at Capital Economic said that while investors shouldn’t panic over one bad print, they will have to keep a close watch over the labor market.

“The economy was never going to continue adding 500,000 jobs per month when the unemployment rate was well below 4%. But a slowdown in employment growth to little more than 100,000 would be more of a concern, if it was repeated in the official data,” the economists said in a note. “Since most of the other employment data have remained solid, however, with jobless claims barely above 200,000, we are not unduly concerned yet.”

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