Gold and Silver Bounce After Unemployment Figures

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery, the most active contract, increased $3.70 to settle at $1,705.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March edged 2 cents higher to close at $33.13.

Both precious metals received selling pressure on the release of the latest unemployment rate, but rebounded afterwards. The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, easily beating estimates calling for a gain of about 85,000. The unemployment rate, which is based on a different survey, fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent, reaching its lowest level since December 2008.

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However, the number of people out of the labor force totaled more than 540,000, helping the unemployment rate decline due to recording methods rather than an improving economy. The labor force participation rate remains near 30-year lows.

By the end of the trading day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 0.40 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 0.31 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) increased 0.51 percent and 0.73 percent, respectively. Silver names such as Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) and Silver Wheaton both jumped more than 1.0 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS