On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — edged 70 cents lower to close at $1,310.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September increased 29 cents to finish at $19.91. It was gold’s first weekly loss in four weeks.
Both precious metals were relatively quiet, despite employers adding fewer jobs in July than expected. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the economy added 162,000 jobs last month, below estimates calling for 185,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent, but the number of quality jobs is still lacking.
The latest report raised more confusion about the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying programs. Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX, explains, “The strong bout of U.S. economic data the past week proved to be a red herring, as the July labor market report was roundly disappointing. The headline figure at +162K was well below expectations, and the drop in the unemployment rate was aided by a shrinking labor force. Overall, the report takes away more than it offers; in the sense that it means that the decision to taper QE3 in September has become that much more difficult for the Federal Reserve.”