Gold indifferent to this morning’s job report after climbing yesterday when comments by President Donald Trump fanned the flames of the trade war with China.
This morning’s Jobs report, which was inline with expectations, had scant impact on the yellow metal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 164,000 jobs were created in July with unemployment at 3.7%.
Meanwhile, new U.S. tariffs against Chinese goods could be more than 25%, Trump said after U.S. financial markets closed Thursday. Remarks earlier in the day – that U.S. will levy a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese goods starting Sept. 1 – partly spurred the biggest two-day drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since May.
Also pressuring equities and gold on Wednesday and Thursday were indications from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank probably won’t begin a long easing cycle after announcing its first interest-rate cute in a decade on Wednesday.
The U.S.-China trade standoff, Fed speculation, economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions sent gold to a six-year high above $1,400 an ounce in July by making the yellow metal more attractive as a hedge.
December gold futures, the most active contract on Comex, fell 0.4% on Thursday, but currently, the contract is at $1,445.90, up $13.50/ounce. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.53% to 827.82 metric tons on Thursday from on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Gold demand jumped to a three-year high in the first half of the year, driven by record central-bank buying and healthy ETF inflows, the World Gold Council said in a report Thursday. Supplies of the yellow metal reached the highest level since 2016 during the first half.
In economic news, a gauge of U.S. manufacturing fell to the lowest level since September 2009 in July, The IHS Market Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in July from 50.6 in June on weaker demand and slower hiring. Figures above 50 indicate expansion.
Silver futures, which have outpaced gold recently on Comex, slid even more than gold on Thursday, with the September contract settling at $16.18 an ounce, down 1.4%. It was poised for its first weekly drop in weeks. Currently, September is down $0.07 to $16.105.
Spot palladium slid 5.9% Thursday and touched a seven-week low, ending the session at $1,430.66. This morning, the slide continues with Palladium at $1,398.79. Spot platinum also decreased Thursday, losing 1.2%. It has shaved off another $8.57 this morning.