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Updated from 12:19 p.m. EST with settlement prices
NEW YORK (
rose Friday, in line with gains across the major U.S. equity indices.
Gold for April delivery climbed $8.60 to settle at $1,670.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
traded as high as $1,683 and as low as $1,660.60 an ounce, while the spot price was $5.50, according to Kitco's gold index.
"I think today's movement is just running with the equities markets and saying, 'OK, the dollar is getting weak because [the <b>Federal Reserve</b>] is printing money, equities are going up,'" said David Williams, director of Strategic Gold Corp. "I don't think it's a big deal today, I don't think it's really tremendously impressive."
for March delivery added 61 cents to $31.96 an ounce, while the
U.S. dollar index
was slipping 0.16% to $79.08.
Gold prices bumped to session highs shortly after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released January nonfarm payrolls, which rose 157,000, and the unemployment rate, which ticked up to 7.9% from the prior month's 7.8%. Analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters had been expecting payrolls to rise 160,000 and unemployment to hold steady at 7.8%.
It was a choppy week for the yellow metal as
prices dipped on Monday ahead of option expiration, but
popped Wednesday after an unexpected contraction in 2012 fourth-quarter gross domestic product. The Fed's policy-making announcement on Wednesday afternoon didn't offer any surprise as it announced no changes to interest rates or its quantitative easing programs.
This heavy economic reporting week will be followed next week by a much lighter schedule. Gold appears caught in a tight trading range with very few planned events in the near-term that may push the precious metal decidedly in either direction.
Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Friday. Shares of
Gold Fields(GFI - Get Report) were rising 3.5%, and shares of
NovaGold Resources(NG) were rising 2.9%.
Among volume leaders,
Barrick Gold(ABX - Get Report) was tacking on 0.63%, but
Kinross Gold(KGC) was off 0.73%.
SPDR Gold Trust(GLD) was ticking up 0.27%, while
iShares Gold Trust(IAU) was gaining 0.19%.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.