Gold climbs as investors cast a wary eye on upbeat U.S. jobs data as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise

Gold futures moved higher Thursday as investors showed concern over the economic impact of the rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and around the world despite improving economic data.

A drop in the U.S. unemployment rate and a better-than-expected job growth in June only briefly managed to pull prices lower in earlier dealings.

The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell for the second straight month to 11.1%. The increase in new jobs easily exceeded the 3.7 million forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. However, the economy’s recuperation from the coronavirus might already be suffering a setback from a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Investors do not largely believe that the unemployment rate is going to fall as rapidly as we have seen in the past two months,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade told MarketWatch.

New U.S. coronavirus cases hit a single-day record on Wednesday of more than 52,000 while the global total reached 2.64 million and death toll of 127,681.

Against that backdrop, August gold GCQ20, 0.53% picked up $4.10, or 0.2%, at $1,784 an ounce, following a 1.1% decline on Wednesday. For the holiday-shorted week, prices based on the most-active contracted traded around 0.2% higher than last Friday’s settlement.

In the longer run though gold may also receive support from easy monetary policy after the Federal Reserve’s most recent monetary-policy meeting revealed that officials noted that the economy is likely to need support from highly accommodative monetary policy for “some time.”

Meanwhile, September silver SIU20, 0.50% rose 5 cents, or 0.8%, at $18.365 an ounce after gold’s sister metal fell 2.3% in the prior session. For the holiday-shortened week, silver looked to finish about 1% higher than last Friday’s settlement.

September copper HGU20, 0.33% traded at $2.748 a pound, up 0.5%. October platinum PLV20, -0.95% was down 0.07% at $833.80 an ounce and September palladium PAU20, -0.22% shed 0.1% to $1,928 an ounce.

By Myra P. Saefong and Mark DeCambre

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