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Gold Prices Settle Higher on Jobs Reading; Silver Hits 31-Year High

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices rose after an expectation-meeting U.S. jobs report and a double digit selloff on Thursday. Silver also tapped a 31-year high.

Gold for April delivery added $12.20 to $1,428.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price today has traded as high as $1,432.80 and as low as $1,413.80. The spot gold price was adding $13, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices added $1 to $35.32 an ounce. U.S. dollar index was slightly lower at $76.38.

Gold prices had been awaiting the nonfarm payroll report for February and picked up steam after the solid, but not blowout, results. Nonfarm added 192,000 jobs and the private sector added 222,000 jobs. Both numbers were in line with expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 8.9%.

The good news was already baked into the stock market and equities took a hit on the buy the rumor, sell the news trading strategy. Gold prices suffered Thursday in anticipation of solid numbers and were regaining ground Friday.



A better-than-expected reading might have raised speculation that the Federal Reserve could either alter its $600 billion bond buying program or raise interest rates if the jobs picture continues to improve.

A disappointing reading would have underscored the need for low interest rates for an "extended period of time" despite rising overall inflation and perhaps prompt another wave of safe haven buying.

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