By Donald Levit
Gold futures were volatile Thursday, swinging between gains and losses amid the release of different economic data reports, which traders took at face value and also used to extrapolate what the outcome will be on the most anticipated piece of economic data this week; August’s non-farm payrolls data, which is on tap for Friday.
Gold was trading around a two-month low early Thursday and the pressure continued after economic data showed that the number of Americans who applied for employment benefits last week increased by 2,000; but the total amount of layoffs remained near post recession lows. This suggested that the US economy remains strong, and that Friday’s August non-farm payrolls data should be positive. However, as the session went on, gold reversed after the release of manufacturing data.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that August manufacturing fell to 49.4% from 52.6% in July. The figure was below the consensus expectation for a 52% reading, and also in contraction territory.