Gold slumps after blowout jobs report

San Francisco (Dec 6)  Gold prices slumped Friday as a stronger-than-expected jobs report dulled its shine as a safe haven but the precious metal still managed to close out the week 1.3% higher.

The Labor Department said the U.S. added 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest gain since January 2012 and well beyond the 235,000 that were expected. Average hourly wages jumped 9 cents, or 0.4%, after two weak readings, although the 12-month increase was little changed at 2.1%.

Gold for February delivery GCG5, -1.25% fell $17.30, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,190.40 an ounce. March silver SIH5, -1.75% lost 32 cents, or 1.9%, to $16.26 an ounce.

Stronger economic data raise the possibility of an interest rate hike which weakens demand for gold since it does not yield interest.

A day earlier, gold closed in the red but held tight to the key $1,200-an-ounce level after the European Central Bank decided to hold off on additional stimulus. The ECB left its key interest rate unchanged at 0.05% and announced that it will wait until 2015 to consider additional market supportive measures, including buying European sovereign debt.

In other metals trading, January platinum PLF5, -1.79% dropped $26.40, or 2.1%, to $1,219.50 an ounce, while March palladium PAH5, +0.08%  rose 55 cents to $802.70 an ounce.

High-grade copper for March delivery HGH5, -0.19%  slipped a penny to $2.90 a pound.

Source: MarketWatch