Gold rose nearly 1
percent on Friday, snapping a four-day losing streak, as
disappointing U.S. nonfarm payrolls data dampened talk of an
early interest rate rise by the Federal Reserve and increased
bullion's appeal as a hedge.
The yellow metal, however, posted a 1 percent drop for the
week, for a third consecutive loss. On Thursday, gold prices
slid to a six-week low on reports showing strong U.S. economic
growth and wage increase.
Bullion gained after data showed U.S. job growth slowed in
July and the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose, pointing to
slack in the labor market that could give the Fed room to keep
interest rates low for a while.
The Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls increased 209,000
last month, below economists' expectation of a 233,000 job gain.
Unemployment rate also rose to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent as
more people entered the labor market.
"People were looking for a big payrolls figure and they
didn't get one, so gold gained," said Matthew Turner, metals
analyst at Macquarie.
Spot gold was up 0.9 percent to $1,293.01 an ounce by
2:36 p.m. EDT (1836 GMT), rebounding from Thursday's six-week
low of $1,280.76.
Analysts said that gold's gains were capped when the metal
failed to breach strong technical resistance near its 100-day
moving average at $1,298.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
up $12 an ounce at $1,294.80.
Demand for physical gold in Asia failed to pick up in a
robust way despite the price drop on Thursday, a dealer in Hong
Metals consultancy GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters,
warned on Thursday that buying in the main physical gold markets
of China and India may not be strong enough to provide a floor
for prices this year.
Meanwhile, sales of American Eagle gold coins by the U.S.
Mint dropped about 40 percent in July from a year earlier.
Gold prices remain up more than 7 percent this year, but
most of those gains were made in the first quarter. The metal
fell 3.4 percent in July, its biggest monthly drop of 2014.
Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.5
percent at $20.24 an ounce, while platinum inched up 0.3
percent to $1,458, and palladium dropped 0.9 percent to
$859 an ounce.
Platinum group metals could be weighed down by news that
U.S. auto sales growth slowed slightly in July despite hefty
discounts, with most manufacturers reporting gains below