Gold for August delivery added $9.70 to settle at $1,542.40 at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price has traded as high as $1,548.40 and as low as $1,524.90 while the spot gold price was up $7.80, according to Kitco's gold index.
After a dismal jobs report and an even worse market reaction, investors turned to gold as a safe place to stash cash for the weekend. The unemployment rate rose to 9.1% in May while the private sector added only 83,000 jobs and nonfarm payrolls increased by 54,000 compared to the 151,000 expected. April's numbers were also revised lower.
The CME said Friday that gold saw five consecutive days of open interest records, indictating increased long positions, hitting a high of 1,244,620 contracts on May 24, 2011. On the flip side, silver suffered for most of trading from being an industrial metal Friday rather than a safe-haven currency. Prices recovered late in the day and closed down just 1 cent to $36.19. In after-hours trading silver was adding 2 cents. "We had three weak ISM reports" from China, the EU and U.S., argued Streible, "so the demand has come down [for silver] and I think that gold/silver ratio is going to continue to grind its way higher." The higher the ratio means that it takes more silver to buy an ounce of gold which favors a lower silver price and a higher gold price.
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