Gold prices edged higher on Thursday as traders indulged in some short covering in the yellow metal futures after the U.S. dollar weakened a bit against major currencies.
The dollar weakened after a report from private payroll processor ADP showed that the U.S. created 163,000 jobs in August, much lower than the expected 190,000 positions. With the number falling short of expectations, it is now being felt that the Fed may not resort to any aggressive monetary tightening for now.
Gold futures for December ended up $3.00, or 0.25%, at $1,204.30 an ounce. On Wednesday, gold futures ended up $2.20, at $1,201.30 an ounce.
Silver futures for December settled at $14.181 an ounce, down $0.039 from previous close.
Copper futures for December ended up $0.0265, at $2.6365 per pound.
According to a report released by payroll processor ADP, private sector employment in the U.S. rose by less than expected in the month of August. ADP said private sector employment climbed by 163,000 jobs in August after jumping by a revised 217,000 jobs in July.
Economists had expected an increase of about 190,000 jobs compared to the spike of 219,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Markets now await the official U.S. jobs data for the month of August, due on Friday, for additional clues about the pace of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
Also, with the public comment period on possible U.S. tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods ending at midnight, the greenback was rather subdued today.
China has reportedly warned that it will be forced to retaliate if the United States implements any new tariff measures.
Meanwhile, U.S.-Canada trade tensions have eased a bit on reports that there is some progress in the talks between the two countries with regard to the North American Free Trade Agreement.