Posted on January 08, 2016
Gold Spot Price Open: $1,111
Gold Spot Price Close: $1,106
Change in Gold Spot Price: -$5
Silver Spot Price Open: $14.44
Silver Spot Price Close: $14.02
Change in Silver Spot Price: -$0.42
After gaining for much of the week, precious metals took a step backwards on Friday mostly thanks to upbeat jobs data from the United States. When all was said and done, gold backed off by about 5 dollars while silver fell by more than 40 cents after gaining roughly the same amount just a day ago. Platinum and palladium finished the day mixed, but were hovering around unchanged by the time markets closed.
It was good news that opened up Friday morning in the United States as the Labor Department reported that nearly 300,000 non-farm payrolls were created during the month of December. Not only does this piece of data handily beat expectations of 200,000 jobs being created, it solidifies 2015’s position as the second-best job-creating year in the last decade. The best year for job creation in the last 10 years? 2014. This means that the United States has seen a drastic improvement on the part of the unemployment rate over the past few years.
For gold and silver, the upbeat jobs data did well to ruin the streak of positive days we had going through much of this week. Even despite today’s losses, gold and silver will be looking back on the opening week of 2016 trading as a positive one. Both metals finished the week in a better spot than they were in when it began, and this is something that we have seldom seen over the past few months.
In response to the upbeat jobs data, major US stock indexes bounced back upward after a dismal day on Thursday. Stocks had been suffering all week due to fresh geopolitical tensions out of the Middle East and Asia, so it is nice for investors to get a bit of respite after such a rough week of trading.
A major talking point that has come in the immediate wake of today’s jobs report is when the Federal Reserve will move to hike interest rates further than they did last month. There have been discussions relating to the possibility that the Fed will continue to hike rates gradually over the next year or two, but that depends, as it always does, on the tone of US economic data. Healthy employment figures reported this week, however, lend credence to the belief that a second rate hike may be coming as early as March.
Another key piece of data that can be taken away from this week is the fact that the last three months of 2015 saw an average of 284,000 non-farm jobs created month over month. Considering average expectations are for about 200,000 new jobs to be created during a single month, the 284,000 number is one that sticks out for all the right reasons. Despite all of this, the unemployment rate held steady at 5%.
As we look forward to what next week holds, you can bet that investors are already gearing up for the deluge of economic and financial data that will be making its way to the marketplace next week. Year-end economic data does a lot in the way of shaping how investors feel about the year to come, so there will be very few reports that are overlooked. From the US and China especially, data will be hawked over by investors. China is in the midst of an extreme slowdown, and after major stock market sell-offs earlier this week, people are becoming increasingly wary of the once-thriving Asian economic powerhouse.