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Gold prices rise, set for weekly gains after weak US labor data dents yields

Published 05/10/2024, 01:15 AM

Investing.com-- Gold prices rose in Asian trade on Friday, extending overnight gains as more signs of a cooling U.S. labor market weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields, benefiting prices of the yellow metal.

Bullion prices were now set to break a two-week losing spree, as some safe haven demand also remained in play amid bets that Israel and Hamas will not reach a ceasefire deal. Reports of fresh U.S. trade tariffs on China also sparked some safe haven demand. 

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $2,354.06 an ounce, while gold futures expiring in June jumped 0.9% to $2,360.75 an ounce by 00:53 ET (04:53 GMT). 

Gold prices head for weekly gains amid some rate cut hopes 

Spot prices were set to add more than 2% this week- their first positive week in three. But they still remained well below record highs hit in late-April. 

The yellow metal surged on Thursday after data showed a bigger-than-expected increase in weekly U.S. jobless claims. The reading came just after a substantially softer-than-expected nonfarm payrolls reading for April, and reinforced expectations that a cooling labor market will push the Fed into cutting interest rates early.

Traders were seen slightly increasing bets on a September rate cut, expectations of which currently stand at a nearly 50% chance, according to the CME Fedwatch tool

U.S. Treasury yields fell sharply on Thursday, as did the dollar, factoring into stronger metal prices across the board. 

Platinum futures rose 0.2% to $994.80 an ounce, while silver futures jumped 1% to $28.657 an ounce. Both metals were also trading up 3% and 7.4%, respectively, for the week. 

Copper prices near 2-year highs, but China uncertainty limits gains 

Weakness in the dollar also factored into strong industrial metal prices. Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5% to $10,013.50 a ton, while one-month copper futures rose 0.6% to $4.6327 a pound.

Both contracts were close to recent two-year peaks.

But further momentum in copper prices was stalled by some mixed signals from top importer China. 

While copper bulls cheered the country rolling out more supportive policy for its property market, data showing a drop in Chinese copper imports spurred some doubts over how strong demand would remain in the world’s biggest copper importer.

Reports on Friday showed the U.S. was considering more trade tariffs on China, also denting sentiment towards the country. 

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