Metals Stocks: Gold prices edge higher as market awaits labor-market update

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Gold futures inched higher Thursday ahead of employment data in the U.S. that could influence trading in the precious commodity, a day after hope for a vaccine and a rally in stocks eroded appetite for the haven metal.

Economists polled by MarketWatch estimate that 3.7 million jobs were created in June, with some estimates ranging as high as 8 million. Meanwhile, a weekly report on individuals seeking unemployment insurance weekly is estimated to show that 1.4 million people sought such insurance.

A surprise in those numbers, indicating economic improvement, could further deflate bullion’s steady rise to its highest level to 2011.

“The quick return of risk on mode on stock markets has pulled liquidity away from gold with investors instead eyeing up the potential for quicker returns on equities,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in a research brief on Thursday.

“Expectations for a quick economic recovery and for a vaccination against Covid-19 have curbed gold’s rally, forcing down its price by $20 immediately after it had reached a new 8-year-high,” he wrote.

On Wednesday, gold retreated at least partly on the back of hope for a vaccine candidate from Pfizer that could help quell concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

However, the Federal Reserve’s most recent monetary-policy meeting revealed that officials noted that the economy is likely to need support from highly accommodative monetary policy for “some time,” a dynamic that could be supportive for gold over the longer term.

On top of that, U.S. coronavirus cases hit a single-day record on Wednesday, surpassing 52,000 in the country. The U.S. continues to lead the world, with a case tally of 2.64 million and death toll of 127,681.

August gold GCQ20, +0.27% picked up $4.40, or 0.3%, at $1,784.30 an ounce, following a 1.1% decline on Wednesday.

Read:Gold posts largest quarterly gain in 4 years; talk of record prices by year-end grows

Meanwhile, September silver SIU20, +0.20% shed added 4 cents, or 0.2%, at $18.26 an ounce after gold’s sister metal fell 2.3% in the prior session.

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