GOLD

LONDON: Gold hit all-time highs above $2,080 an ounce in its most-active futures contract in New York before the longs who had relentlessly pushed the shiny metal’s prices up 35% this year paused to await U.S. jobs numbers due Friday for further direction.
Forecasters on Wall Street believe the nonfarm-payrolls from the Labor Department will show a gain of 1.6 million jobs for July, adding to the combined 7.3 million jobs created in May and June. The U.S. economy lost more than 21 million jobs prior to that, between March and April, from business lockdowns forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
A bigger-than-expected growth in jobs and wages for July could bump up the battered U.S. Dollar Index, forcing gold into a correction after its massive move higher since March, when it hit four-month lows of $1,451.00. The index, which pits the dollar against six competing currencies, has fallen from 103.960 in March to a bottom below 92.50 now.
But some research outfits think July’s nonfarm-payrolls report might disappoint those expecting a deep correction in gold.
Separately, the Labor Department reported on Thursday that some 1.2 million Americans filed first-time unemployment claims last week, adding to benefits continuously sought by around 16 million people since the height of disruptions to the U.S. economy caused by Covid-19.
“The question for the day is whether NFP or trade wars will win,” TD Securities said in a note. “We wouldn’t read too much into one report. TD looks for a miss on both NFP and wages.”
The front-month October gold futures contract on New York’s Comex settled up $21.30, or 1%, at $2,058.40. Its session peak of $2,070 set an all-new high for a benchmark gold futures contract on Comex.