On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery increased $10.40 to settle at $1,645.20 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures gained 42 cents to close at $30.43. Although gold prices closed higher for the first time this week, they fell nearly 2 percent this week.
Both precious metals finished the day higher after a dismal unemployment report. According to the Labor Department, nonfarm payrolls increased by 115,000 last month, compared to estimates close to 170,000. Private companies added 130,000 jobs, with the majority coming from the service sector. Manufacturing jobs increased by only 16,000. Although the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1 percent in April from 8.2 percent in March, a lower labor force participation rate created most of the decline.
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“The implication of the jobs report is near-term weakness [in stocks], but there’s a floor because Ben Bernanke could be there to flood the system with money. That’s the psychology that’s embedded in the market,” said Paul Simon, chief investment officer of Tactical Allocation Group, according to WSJ.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased .43 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) climbed .80 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) jumped 2.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Silver names were mixed on the day. Shares of Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) fell 1.6 percent, but First Majestic (NYSE:AG) increased 2 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS