Metals: Gold Falls on Strong U.S. Data

By Ira Iosebashvili and David Hodari Features Dow Jones Newswires

Gold prices fell Thursday after stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll data bolstered the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this month.

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Gold for August delivery closed down 0.4% at $1,270.10 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Hiring at private U.S. employers increased last month at the fastest pace since 2014, according to payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics. Firms across the country added 253,000 workers to their ranks in May, compared with expectations of 180,000.

Investors have been watching recent economic data releases for signs that the U.S. economy is shifting into higher gear after an uneven first quarter. Many expect the Fed to raise rates at a faster rate if growth picks up, a move that would weigh on gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing investments when borrowing costs rise.

Market participants are awaiting the release of U.S. employment data on Friday, which many believe serves as a gauge of how well the country's economy is faring.

"The jobs data tomorrow is the all-important number the Fed looks at," said Ira Epstein, a strategist at the Linn Group.

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Copper prices rose 0.3% to $2.5875 a pound.

Strikes are ongoing at Freeport-McMoRan's Indonesian Grasberg mine, and nearly 2,000 workers are blocking access to Mantos Copper's Chilean Mantos Blancos and Manto Verde mines, according to Marex Spectron's Alistair Munro.

Write to Ira Iosebashvili at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 01, 2017 15:11 ET (19:11 GMT)