Gold prices headed toward their third decline in a row on Friday as a leading dollar index strengthened and stocks headed for gains, cheered on by an upbeat jobs report.
Gold extended its losses, and the dollar stretched its gains, after the latest snapshot on the U.S. job markets showed strong job growth and a higher participation rate, although tempered wages, a report that overall keep the Federal Reserve on track with interest-rate hikes this year.
“The wage numbers were less than the marketplace expected, suggesting tamer inflation. The jobs report falls squarely into the camp of the U.S. monetary policy hawks, who want to see interest rates rise sooner,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with metals firm Kitco.com.
April gold GCJ8, -0.26% fell $6.20, or 0.5%, to $1,315.60 an ounce, sliding without interruption since closing Tuesday at its highest level Feb. 16. The contract is on track to post a 0.2% decline for the week, leaving its year-to-date gain at just 0.5%.