Gold ended slightly higher on Friday, after the latest U.S. jobs report showing weak wage growth last month dampened expectations for a faster rate of interest rate hikes this year.

Gold for April delivery settled up 0.2% at $1,221.85 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January from the prior month, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% from 4.7% in December, as more Americans joined the workforce.

But average hourly earnings rose 2.5% in January from a year earlier, slowing from 2.8% in December.

The slowdown in wage growth prompted speculation that the Fed will avoid hiking interest rates too quickly.

In its latest monetary policy statement on Wednesday the Fed stuck to its view that the economy is strengthening, but gave no clear signal on the timing of its next rate hike as officials wait to assess the possible economic impact of the Trump administration’s protectionist policies and recent remarks about currencies.

The precious metal was 2.14% higher for the week, as the dollar remained under pressure amid concerns over Donald Trump‘s presidential style and a lack of clarity on rate hikes.

Both a strong dollar and higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $17.51 a troy ounce late Friday and ended the week with gains of 1.7%.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets:

 

Monday, February 6

Australia is to release data on retail sales.

China is to publish its Caixin services PMI.

In the euro zone, Germany is to report on factory orders.

 

Tuesday, February 7

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

New Zealand is to release a report on inflation expectations.

The UK is to publish a report on house price inflation.

Canada is to release reports on trade, building permits and business activity.

The U.S. is also to release its latest trade figures.

 

Wednesday, February 8

The European Commission is to release its latest economic forecasts for the European Union.

 

Thursday, February 9

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is to announce its benchmark interest rate and hold a press conference to discuss the monetary policy decision.

Australia is to release a report on business confidence.

Canada is to report on new house price inflation.

The U.S. is to publish data on initial jobless claims and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is to speak.

 

Friday, February 10

The RBA is to publish its monetary policy statement.

China is to release trade figures.

The UK is to produce reports on manufacturing production and trade.

Canada is to publish its monthly employment report.

The U.S. is to round up the week with preliminary figures on consumer sentiment.

 

Source: UK Investing.com