On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, increased $8.60 to settle at $1,670.60 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March gained 61 cents to close at $31.96.
Both precious metals showed strength as the Labor Department said the United States economy added 157,000 jobs in January, below estimates of 166,000. For all of last year, an average of 181,000 jobs were added to the economy. In a separate report, the unemployment rate ticked higher from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent.
While the recent data on jobs might appear to be a headwind for the market, it merely means the Federal Reserve will have more reasons to keep quantitative easing and record low interest rates in place.
By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged 0.16 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) jumped 1.12 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both increased nearly 1 percent. Silver names such as Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) surged 2.47 percent and 3.05 percent, respectively.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS