Gold futures were headed modestly lower early Friday, threatening to snap a five-session streak of record settlements, as investors contended with a U.S. dollar that was firming ahead of the monthly report on the U.S. labor market that could help provide a further catalyst for bullion.
Prices for the yellow metal and its sister commodity, silver, have been running higher as uncertainty around the long-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a modern-day gold rush.
“As things stand, the global investment landscape only spells more upside for gold, which has been on a tear this quarter,” wrote Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM.
“The precious metal has surged by over 15 percent since June 30, with the $2100 psychological level within its near-term grasp,” he wrote.
Thursday extended a record rally to a fifth straight day, with a muted U.S. dollar and lackluster moves in equities supporting bullion’s ascent to near $2,100.
But the jobs report could provide the last major piece of data for gold watchers to determine the future for the surging metal.
Consensus estimates from economists polled by MarketWatch for the Friday nonfarm-payrolls report point to an increase of 1.7 million jobs in July—just one-third of the unexpected 4.8 million gain in June.
December gold gave up $3.80, or 0.2%, at $2,065.60 an ounce, after the metal rose 1% on Thursday. For the week, gold is on pace for nearly 4% weekly advance, based on the last Friday’s settlement for the most-active contract.
September silver, meanwhile, gave up 11 cents, or 0.4%, at $28.290 an ounce, following a 5.6% surge for the precious and industrial metal. Silver is on track for a weekly gain of nearly 17%.
The moves for both metals on Friday comes as the dollar picked up some steam, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index rising 0.5%. The gauge of the buck against a half-dozen currencies is off 0.2% for the week thus far, according to FactSet data.
Limiting the slide for gold may be evidence of rising tensions between the U.S. and China after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning U.S.-based operators from working with China-based technology companies Tencent Holdings and TikTok parent ByteDance.
Elsewhere on Comex, September copper lost 3 cents, or 1.1%, at $2.880 a pound. October platinum traded 1.8% lower at $995.70 an ounce, while September palladium headed 2% lower to reach $2,210.60 an ounce.