Investing.com - Gold prices rose on Friday, moving higher for the first time in four sessions despite a solid U.S. jobs report as the dollar slid, helping support demand for the precious metal.
Gold for February delivery settled up 0.82% at $1,179.00 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Prices hit lows of $1,160.00 a troy ounce on Thursday, their weakest level since February.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November from the prior month, while the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6%, its lowest level in nine years.
Economists had forecast nonfarm payrolls rising by 175,000 last month and the unemployment rate remaining unchanged at 4.9%.
However, the report also showed that average hourly earnings fell 0.1% from October, while the annual rate of wage growth slowed to 2.5% from 2.8% in October.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.27% to 100.75 late Friday, helping support gold prices.
The jobs report underlined the Fed’s case for a rate hikes at its upcoming meeting on December 13-14, but the weak wage data clouded the outlook for further rate hikes in 2017.
Investors are currently pricing in a 100% chance of a rate hike this month, according to federal funds futures tracked Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Investors see a 93.9% chance of a follow up rate increase in February.
Expectations of tighter monetary policy tend to weigh on gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise.
Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for March delivery was up 1.74% at $16.79 a troy ounce, while copper for March delivery settled at $2.63 a pound.
In the week ahead, markets will be paying close attention to speeches by Fed officials and U.S. data on non-manufacturing activity and consumer confidence going into the holiday period.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, December 5
The U.K. is to release data on service sector activity.
The Institute for Supply Management is to release its non-manufacturing PMI.
New York Fed President William Dudley is to speak about the macroeconomic outlook in New York.
St. Louis Fed head James Bullard is to speak at an event in Arizona.
Tuesday, December 6
The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.
In the euro zone, Germany is to report on factory orders.
Canada is to produce a report on the trade balance.
The U.S. is also to release trade data, along with reports on nonfarm productivity and factory orders.
Wednesday, December 7
Australia is to release data on third quarter economic growth.
The U.K. is to release industry data on house price inflation, as well as official figures on manufacturing and industrial production.
The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and release its latest policy statement.
Thursday, December 8
Both China and Australia are to release trade data.
The European Central Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.
Canada is to produce reports building permits and new house price inflation.
The U.S. is to release the weekly report on jobless claims.
Friday, December 9
China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.
The U.S. is to round up the week with a preliminary reading on consumer sentiment for December from the University of Michigan.