Gold Futures Settle Sharply Lower As Dollar Rises On Strong Economic Data

Gold futures settled sharply lower on Friday as the dollar climbed up on stronger than expected U.S. non-farm payroll data, and a report showing a jump in consumer sentiment, and a sharp pullback in consumers’ inflation expectations.

The stronger-than-expected jobs data tempered expectations for early interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Treasury yields rose following the release of the report, as the data has partly offset recent optimism that the Fed could pivot toward interest rate cuts as soon as March 2024.

The dollar index, which surged to 104.26, dropped to around 103.75 subsequently, but climbed higher again, rising to 104.00, gaining nearly 0.5%.

Gold futures for February ended down $31.90 or about 1.6% at $2,014.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.783 at $23.276 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.8305 per pound, gaining $0.330.

Data from the Labor Department showed that non-farm payroll employment jumped by 199,000 jobs in November after rising by 150,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected employment to climb by 180,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 3.7% in November from 3.9% in October. The unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged.

A report released by the University of Michigan showed a significantly bigger than expected improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of December.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index surged to 69.4 in December from 61.3 in November. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 62.0.

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