US job growth increased briskly in December and the jobless rate dropped to a 6-and-a-half-year low, but wages slipped in the latest sign a tightening labor market has yet to give much of a boost to workers.
As a result, gold for February delivery gained 0.4% to $1,213 an ounce on the Comex by 7:38 a.m. in New York, after falling for the past 2 days. The metal is up 2.3%t for the week, the best performance since Dec. 12.
Bullion for immediate delivery added 0.4% to $1,213.94 on the London Metal Exchange.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 252,000 last month after an upwardly revised 353,000 jump in November, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate fell 0.2 of a percentage point to 5.6%, partly because so many people left the labor force.
But a five-cent drop in average hourly earnings, which nearly erased gains seen in November, took some shine off the otherwise mostly upbeat report.
Japanese palladium bar saw a 2.3% increase on Thursday, January 8, reaching JPY 3,149 ($26.40) per gram and making it the biggest upwards shift of the day. The price of US palladium bar declined 1.4% to $790.00 per ounce. Chinese palladium bar closed 0.6% lower at CNY 177.00 ($28.49) per gram.
After a 0.4% increase, Japanese platinum bar finished the day at JPY 4,653 ($39.01) per gram. Chinese platinum bar gained 0.4% to finish at CNY 261.00 ($42.01) per gram. At $1,217 per ounce, US platinum bar fell 0.2% yesterday.
Following two days of rising prices, the price of Indian gold bullion dropped 0.7% to INR 27,329 ($432.43) per 10 grams. US gold bullion prices saw a 0.7% decline to $1,211 per ounce. Japanese gold bullion prices rose 0.5% to JPY 4,634 ($38.85) per gram. After improving for two days, the price of Chinese gold bullion declined 0.4% to CNY 242.75 ($39.07) per gram.
Japanese silver saw its price rise 2.3% to JPY 630.00 ($5.28) per 10 grams. The price of Indian silver closed at INR 38,070 ($602.39) per kilogram. Following a couple days of improvement, prices fell by 0.7%. Chinese silver finished the day up 0.4% to CNY 3,505 ($564.17) per kilogram. US silver finished the day down 0.1% to $16.53 per ounce.