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    Gold and Silver Higher After Report Showing Sluggish Labor Market

    Gold and silver traded higher Wednesday morning after a closely watched report pointed to widening cracks in the U.S. labor market.

    Gold was up $22 at $2,351 per ounce and silver was making small gains, up $.25 at nearly $30 an ounce after data from the ADP National Employment Report showed that private payrolls added 152,000 jobs in May – far fewer than Wall Street projections of 175,000 jobs. It was also tens of thousands of jobs short of April’s addition of 188,000 jobs.

    The monthly analysis based on payroll data from more than 25 million U.S. employees – one of several key gauges used by the Fed to set monetary policy – singled out a steep decline in the manufacturing sector as the major culprit for the sluggish month. The leisure and hospitality industries also showed weakness in May, the report found.

    “Job gains and pay growth are slowing going into the second half of the year,” ADP chief economist Nela Richardson, said in a statement Wednesday. “The labor market is solid, but we’re monitoring notable pockets of weakness tied to both producers and consumers.”

    The ADP analysis dovetailed a report Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that there were 8.1 million job openings on the last business day of April – down from 8.4 million openings in March.

    Both underscored a squeezed labor market in the face of stubborn inflation and interest rates that are at a 23-year high. It also left the Fed with more questions than answers on the timing of any rate reductions this year as policymakers prepare to meet next week in Washington. Earlier this year, officials penciled in as many as three rate trims by the end of 2024, but with each report reflecting the dicey economy, it’s becoming more of an “if” than “when” scenario.

    Wall Street won’t have much time to contemplate the pair of underwhelming reports, with data on initial jobless claims expected Thursday and U.S. employment coming Friday.

    Disclaimer: All Market Updates are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of JM Bullion Inc. and should not be construed as financial advice.

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