Gold prices dropped to almost four-month lows on Friday after a stronger-than-forecast U.S. jobs report boosted the dollar against a basket of the other major currencies.

Gold futures for August delivery ended down 0.93% at $1,211.98 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest close since March 15.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.21% to 95.78 late Friday.

Gold and the dollar typically move in opposite directions, which means if the dollar goes down, gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, will rise.

The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs last month the Labor Department reported, more than the 179,000 new jobs expected by economists.

Figures for April and May were also revised to show that 47,000 more jobs were created than previously reported.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from a 16-year low of 4.3% in May, as more people looked for work, a sign of confidence in the labor market.

The rapid pace of jobs growth reassured investors that the economy is on a strong enough footing to justify the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates once more this year.

The Fed hiked rates at its June meeting and stuck to its forecast for one more rate hike this year, but the subdued inflation outlook has raised doubts over whether officials will be able to stick to their planned tightening path.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver futures fell 2.49% to $15.58 a troy ounce late Friday, its lowest close since April 1 2016.

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

 

Monday, July 10

China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.

In the euro zone, Germany is to report on its trade balance.

 

Tuesday, July 11

Australia is to release private sector data on business confidence.

Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent is to speak at an event in Scotland.

Canada is to publish data on housing starts.

In the U.S., Fed Governor Lael Brainard is to speak at an event in New York.

 

Wednesday, July 12

The UK is to publish its monthly employment report.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The bank will also hold a press conference.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to testify on the monetary policy report before the House Financial Services Committee, in Washington.

 

Thursday, July 13

China is to publish data on the trade balance.

The U.S. is to release data on producer prices and jobless claims.

Janet Yellen is to testify on the monetary policy report before the Senate Banking Committee, in Washington.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is to speak at an event in Idaho, while Fed Governor Lael Brainard is due to speak at an event in Massachusetts.

 

Friday, July 14

The U.S. is to round up the week with a raft of economic reports including figures on inflation, retail sales, industrial production and consumer sentiment.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is to speak at an event in Mexico City.

 

Source: Investing.com

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