Gold futures closed higher on Friday for a third straight session, which helped contracts for the precious metal to register a modest weekly advance, amid a retreat in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields, which can compete against precious metals for safe-haven demand, as well as a steadying U.S. dollar, which has slipped back since touching a three-month high a day ago.
traded $6.50, or 0.4%, higher, to settle at $1,783.30 an ounce, representing the highest settlement for the most-active contract since June 23, FactSet data show. Friday’s gains also marked its third straight climb, matching its longest string of gains since a period ended May 26.
Trading in precious metals followed a closely watched report on June employment from the Labor Department, which came in at 850,000, better than the 706,000 jobs that were estimated by economists polled by Dow Jones and MarketWatch. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 5.9%, compared with 5.8% last month and an expectation for 5.6%.
The employment update could help to influence the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy plans and spark moves in bullion.
Silver contracts for September delivery
meanwhile, added 40.1 cents, or 1.5%, to settle at $26.501 an ounce, after a 0.4% decline on Thursday.
For the week, silver climbed 1.6% based on last Friday’s settlement for the most-active contract, while gold advanced 0.3%.
Some analysts speculate that bullion has found some support on the back of growing concerns about the delta variant of COVID-19, which has been hamstringing the economic recovery in a number of countries.
“The precious metal may have found support in the renewed virus woes that have hurt sentiment in Asia, though subdued long-term Treasury yields may also be propping up gold prices,” wrote Raffi Boyadjian, senior investment analyst at XM, in a research note.
Elsewhere on Comex, October platinum
picked up $6.80, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,087.70 an ounce, but was down 1.4% for the week. September palladium
rose $23.60, or 0.9%, to end at $2,792.50 an ounce, contributing to its weekly advance of 5.9%.
The most-active September copper
contract added 4 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $4.2760 a pound, but logged a weekly decline of 0.3%.