Gold for December delivery settled down $2.30 to $1,251.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Friday has traded as high as $1,255.60 and as low as $1,239.20. The U.S. dollar index was slipping 0.43% to $82.10 while the euro rose 0.33% to $1.28 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was down $3.60, according to Kitco's gold index.
Gold prices took their cue from the U.S. jobs number which surprised and cheered investors. The unemployment rate rose to 9.6% but only 54,000 jobs were lost, which was much better than expected. The private sector added 67,000 jobs.
Investors had been mixed on gold headed into the jobs number. Prices rose modestly Thursday as investors bought gold as protection, but the gold exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), shed almost 10 tons as traders took profits. Gold prices recovered from session lows late Friday as volume stayed light.In reaction to the jobs number Friday, President Obama also hinted at another stimulus package, which will be unveiled in more detail next week. Questions remain about how the government would pay for additional stimulus. If the government resorts to money printing, gold prices would find support as the U.S. dollar loses value. In the short-term, most gold bugs will be looking to the fall, historically a strong buying period for gold. India's slew of festivals is expected to ignite massive gold jewelry buying. The gold price on average rises 2.5% in September which would bring prices to $1,285 an ounce. Some analysts, however, are dubious as higher prices might hurt demand in India's price sensitive market. Pratik Sharma, managing director at Atyant Capital, says that trends "work until they don't." "The one time that they don't can be very painful ... if everybody knows one thing and everybody's on one side of the trade the risk of ... the