(Updated from 10:28 a.m. EDT with settlement prices.)



) --

Gold prices

rose Friday after the unemployment rate ticked slightly higher, suggesting central bankers may need to consider a further stimulus next month.

Gold for December delivery climbed $18.60 to settle at $1,609.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,609.90 and as low as $1,588.50 an ounce, while the spot price rose $15.20, according to Kitco's gold index.

July nonfarm payrolls showed employment rose by 163,000, which was better than forecast. The unemployment rate, though, crept up to 8.3% from June's 8.2%.

"I don't think the market is up because payrolls climbed more than forecast, because it's still not fast enough ... but I think the market is up because the unemployment rate is so high, and so the market's saying that just increases the chance that we're going to see something in September," said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management.

Silver prices

for September delivery settled up 81 cents to $27.80 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index

was falling 1.16% to 82.37.

Gold prices didn't benefit from most of this week's bigger economic headlines as the

Federal Reserve

and European Central Bank failed to offer any immediate quantitative easing. July's uptick in employment didn't necessarily offer promise of a sustained rally.

A week after gold managed to settle at about $1,620, the yellow metal has given away that psychological level to stick in a trading range that has kept its eye on $1,600.

Gold mining stocks closed mostly higher on Friday.

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report


Eldorado Gold

(EGO) - Get Report

led miners higher to close up more than 3%.

Among other mining stocks,

Barrick Gold



Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Report


Randold Resources

(GOLD) - Get Report

were up 1.9%, 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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