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Gold Floored by U.S. Jobs; Palladium Makes New Highs

Investing.com – Gold has a new nemesis in the form of U.S. jobs numbers to beat it down, while palladium proved its record-making streak just cannot be stopped.

Stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls for November spurred a new round of risk-taking on Wall Street on Friday, leaving gold floundering as investors had fewer reasons for a safety hedge.

There was another factor working against the yellow metal: U.S. Labor Department data showing employers added 266,000 jobs in November — the most since 312,000 in January — was likely to encourage the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates unchanged for this month. Weaker interest rates often prod investors' search for a better store of value than the dollar, and gold for years has proven to be that alternative.

Gold futures for February delivery on New York’s COMEX settled down $18, or 1.2%, at $1,465.10 per ounce. It hit a 4-week high of $1,487.65 on Wednesday as investors rushed to look for a hedge as after the Trump administration’s initial indications that the U.S.-China trade deal might be delayed beyond 2020.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was down $15.68, or 1.1%, at $1,459.92 by 2:45 PM ET (19:45 GMT). It reached a four-week peak of $1,481.90 on Wednesday.

For the week, COMEX gold fell 0.5% while the spot price lost 0.4%.

Palladium, the auto-catalyst metal in short supply, advanced steadily on the day while sustaining a record-breaking spree in place since the start of December.

The spot price of palladium was up $7.18, or 0.4%, at $1,879.18 after a record high at $1,882.15. It rose 2% on the week.

Palladium futures for March delivery on Comex settled up 40 cents at 1,846.10. There was no all-time high on the futures side.

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