Gold Prices Sink on Upbeat Jobs Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were dropping Friday after a better-than-expected monthly employment report caused the yellow metal to sell off as speculation rose that the Federal Reserve would cut short its quantitative easing program on improving jobs numbers.

Gold for December delivery was shedding $11.50 to $1,785 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,798.10 and as low as $1,774.50 an ounce, while the spot price was dipping $6.90, according to Kitco's gold index.

"The markets trading a little bit lower because of the jobs number and clearly the Fed has tied the quantitative easing program to the jobs numbers; however, the existing commitment still remains in place until the overall jobs picture gets dramatically better than it is today," said Will Rhind, managing director of ETF Securities U.S.

Silver prices for December delivery were off 25 cents at $34.86 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.20% at $79.21.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the U.S. work force added 114,000 jobs in September -- slightly better than the 113,000 projection by economists -- while the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, the lowest rate since January 2009.

Gold prices sold off their highs shortly after the unemployment report was released.

After previous monthly jobs reports, gold has responded heavily in one direction based on whether the U.S. jobs beat expectations (a negative for gold), or underperformed (a positive for gold).

The Fed implemented its open-ended, mortgage-backed securities purchasing program, which has been an overall positive for gold as an inflation hedge.

Though the yellow metal took a hit after the jobs number, many analysts believe gold prices will continue to move higher in the long term.

Gold mining stocks were mixed Friday. Shares of AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) were rising 2.8%, and shares of Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) were gaining 1.6%.

Among other mining stocks, Kinross Gold ( KGC) was down 0.65%, while Barrick Gold ( ABX) was adding 0.24%

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was falling 0.28%

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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