By Stephanie Yang
Gold prices ended lower on Friday after economic data showed stronger-than-expected growth in the U.S. workforce.
Gold for August delivery settled down 0.2% at $1,358.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal traded as low as $1,336.30 immediately after the release of June jobs data, but reversed course to trade as high as $1,371.80 during the session.
The U.S. economy added 287,000 jobs in June according to the Labor Department, exceeding economist estimates of 165,000 jobs. The strong number helped ease concerns over economic growth in the U.S.
But as gold prices tumbled, bargain-hunting led investors to jump back into the market, some traders said.
“The initial headline... was great, [but] that number doesn’t change the fact that global rates are at historic lows,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. The dip in gold “was a present to the gold bulls this morning.”
An unexpectedly weak May jobs report drove gold prices higher last month, as traders wrote off the possibility of an imminent rate increase. Minutes from the Federal Reserve policy meeting in June suggested that officials were divided on whether the U.S. economy could weather a rate increase.