Gold prices are higher and have hit daily highs in early U.S. trading Friday, following a very downbeat U.S. jobs report. A weaker U.S. dollar index and lower U.S. stock indexes early today are also bullish daily elements for the precious metals markets. April gold futures were last up $10.20 an ounce at $1,296.50. May Comex silver was last up $0.115 at $15.155 an ounce.
The just-released U.S. March jobs report from the Labor Department showed a rise in non-farm payrolls of only 20,000. The number was forecast to come in at up 180,000. The ADP national employment report for February, released on Wednesday, showed a rise of 183,000. Many are already speculating the low March jobs reading will be revised significantly upward. Also, the “internals” of this month’s jobs report are not that bad.
Asian and European stock markets were mostly lower overnight. U.S. stock indexes are also pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. Chinese stocks had their worst daily performance in five months Friday following a bearish report on exports. In February, Chinese exports dropped a shocking 20.7% from the same period a year ago. Imports in the period were down 5.2%. The data underscored the damage inflicted on the world’s second-largest economy from the trade war with the U.S. Possibly somewhat mitigating those dour numbers is the fact that long Chinese public holidays in the period can distort the numbers.
Also overhanging the marketplace is the surprising…
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