WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Gold prices moved higher on Friday, as the dollar slipped against major currencies amid speculation the Federal Reserve will pause its interest rate hike agenda in the coming year.
Chances of the Fed pausing monetary tightening in the foreseeable future have increased following the release of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report that showed a much less than expected addition in U.S. employment in the month of November.
Mounting worries about U.S.-China trade tensions after the recent arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.'s Chief Financial Officer in Canada for potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran and falling equities also aided the yellow metal's uptick.
The dollar index was down by about 0.15% at 96.61.
Gold futures for February ended up $9.00, or 0.7%, at $1,252.60 an ounce, the highest settlement in nearly five months. On Thursday, gold futures ended up $1.00, or 0.08%, at $1,243.60 an ounce.
Gold futures gained about 2.2% for the week, the best returns in more than three months.
Silver futures for March settled at $14.696 an ounce, gaining $0.187 for the session.
Copper futures for March ended at $2.759 per pound, up $0.016 from previous close.
Chances of the Fed pausing monetary tightening in the foreseeable future have increased following the release of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report today. The report showed U.S. employment increased by much less than expected in the month of November.
According to the report, non-farm payroll employment rose by 155,000 jobs in November, after surging up by a downwardly revised 237,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected employment to climb by about 200,000 jobs compared to the jump of 250,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the report said the unemployment rate in November remained unchanged for the second straight month at 3.7%, holding at its lowest level since hitting 3.5% in December of 1969.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX