Gold Price Gets Modest Lift After Weaker U.S. Non-Farm Jobs Number

New York (Aug 3)   Gold prices are seeing just modest gains in the aftermath of a U.S. non-farm jobs number that did not meet market expectations. The yellow metal fell to a 12-month low overnight. December gold futures were last up $2.00 an ounce at $1,222.00. September Comex silver was last up $0.10 at $15.49 an ounce.

The just-released U.S. employment report for July showed a significantly lower-than-expected non-farm payrolls rise of 157,000 jobs. The number was forecast at up 190,000, but after Wednesday’s ADP national employment report for July that showed a rise of 219,000, many were looking for a non-farm jobs number north of 200,000. The markets did not show a big reaction to the downside miss, as most agree the U.S. economy remains on a solid growth pace. Also, it’s prime vacation season in the U.S. and Europe, so trading could well continue to be generally lackluster until after the U.S. Labor Day holiday.

World stock markets were mostly higher overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins. Traders and investors worldwide remain generally upbeat and risk-averse.

In overnight news, the Euro zone services purchasing managers index (PMI) came in at 54.2 in July, which was just below market expectations. A reading above 50.0 suggests growth in the sector.

The Chinese currency, the yuan, fell to a 14-month low against the U.S. dollar today. While the depreciating yuan helps out China’s trade surplus, it also risks domestic capital outflows from the country.

The key “outside markets” today find Nymex crude oil prices slightly lower and trading just below $69.00 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is also slightly lower early today and is still not far below its 12-month high scored a few weeks ago.

Other U.S. economic data due for release Friday includes international trade in goods and services, the U.S. services PMI, the global services PMI and the ISM non-manufacturing report on business.

Technically, gold bears have the solid overall near-term technical advantage amid a price downtrend on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,244.70. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,200.00. First resistance is seen at Thursday’s high of $1,230.00 and then at this week’s high of $1,237.80.

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