UPDATE: Gold settles lower, builds on a weekly loss
By Myra P. Saefong and Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
Silver climbs 0.3% in early trade
Gold settled lower on Thursday, building on a loss for the week, as investors awaited further clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan for interest rates from the key nonfarm-payrolls report due at the end of the week.
December gold fell by $3.60, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,273.20 an ounce. The yellow metal on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-rebounds-looks-to-snap-skid-at-three-sessions-as-dollar-dips-2017-10-04) rose even as a monthly service-sector activity index released that day (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yet-another-key-barometer-of-the-us-economy-returns-to-its-prerecession-peak-2017-10-04) posted its strongest reading since mid-2005. Prices were poised for a weekly fall of around 0.9% after posting declines in each of the last three weeks. The exchange traded SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) was down 0.14 in Thursday dealings.
December silver , meanwhile, tacked on 1.4 cents, or under 0.1%, to end at $16.638 an ounce, while the silver ETF iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 0.2%.
"Gold's bearish tones are largely due to the tightening of monetary policy," said Adrienne Murphy, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. "A rise in the cost of borrowing, as well as tackling the balance sheet, will put a huge strain on the price of the precious metal."
"Additionally, investors are increasingly resilient to bearish news, leaving gold's safe-haven status at the door, in favor of riskier assets as stock prices continue to swell (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-to-hover-at-record-levels-with-fed-speakers-in-the-spotlight-2017-10-05)," she said
For now, investors are eagerly anticipating Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show the clearest sign of the effect of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria on job creation for September. Average estimates of economists polled by MarketWatch are for a gain of 75,000, compared with twice that figure last month, with the unemployment rate expected to hold steady at 4.4%.
See: Hurricanes may make it look like U.S. 'lost' jobs for first time since 2010 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hurricanes-may-make-it-look-like-us-lost-jobs-for-the-first-time-since-2010-2017-10-01)
The Labor Department on Thursday reported that first-time jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 260,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-drop-12000-to-260000-as-disruptions-from-hurricanes-ease-2017-10-05)last week. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 265,000. In other data, the U.S. trade deficit shrank 2.7% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-trade-deficit-falls-to-11-month-low-2017-10-05) in August to an 11-month low of $42.4 billion, versus forecasts for a gap of $42.6 billion. A report on August factory orders showed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-factory-orders-strengthen-in-august-2017-10-05) a bigger-than-expected rise of 1.2%.
Upbeat economic data are seen as bolstering the Federal Reserve's case to increase rates once more in 2017.
Meanwhile, the dollar, as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index , which measures the greenback against a basket of six rivals, has risen 0.9% so far this week. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive to buyers using other monetary units, and richer yields undercut the appeal of owning gold and other metals, which don't bear a yield. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield held steady at 2.347% early Thursday, compared with 2.17% at the start of September.
On Comex, December copper rose 3% to $3.047 a pound. January platinum rose nearly 0.4% to $918 an ounce and December palladium added 1.8% to $936.50 an ounce.
-Myra P. Saefong; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires