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Metals Stocks: Gold futures rise early Friday, but on pace for weekly drop

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Gold futures were rising on Friday, aiming to log a gain for the first time in three sessions, but the yellow metal looked likely to notch the first weekly decline in about a month.

December gold
GCZ21,
+0.32%

GC00,
+0.32%

was trading $5.70, or 0.3%, higher at $1,817.10 an ounce, after a 0.3% decline on Thursday. For the week though bullion is on track to mark its first decline, down 0.2%, in four weeks, according to FactSet data.

Gold moves have been mostly tied to the vagaries of the dollar and yields for U.S. government debt and market participants were watching to see how a U.S. monthly jobs report influences price moves.

“The precious metal’s price action is expected to be a wild one today, and this is because the US NFP number is likely to bring higher volatility for the metal,” wrote Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade in a daily note.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that the U.S. economy added 720,000 jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.4%.

The jobs data are expected to be a potential catalyst for moves by the Federal Reserve, which has been weighing the timing of rolling back liquidity programs and monetary policies that have helped financial markets during the pandemic.

“Again, a strong reading may trigger a sell-off for the gold price as the dollar index picks up strength, and a feeble number could push the gold price higher,” Aslam said.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery
SIU21,
+0.96%

was trading 23 cents, or 1%, higher at $24.15 an ounce, after gaining 2.2% on Thursday. For the week, silver was looking at a weekly advance of 0.3%, its second in a row.

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