The 113,000 gain in employment followed a revised 75,000 increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 180,000 advance. The jobless rate “remains elevated,” according to the Federal Reserve, which last month said it will trim monthly bond buying by $10 billion to $65 billion.
“Gold definitely got a bid to it from the weaker numbers,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “What remains to be seen is if this is a one-off thing or the economy is showing signs of weakness.”
Gold futures April delivery added 0.5 percent to settle at $1,262.90 an ounce at 1:52 p.m. on the Comex inNew York. The metal gained 1.9 percent this week, the most since Jan. 3.
Bullion rose 70 percent from December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed pumped more than $2 trillion into the financial system. Prices fell for the first time since 2000 last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value.
Silver futures for delivery in March climbed less than 0.1 percent to $19.936 an ounce. The commodity rose 4.3 percent over five straight days, the longest rally and biggest weekly gain since August.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery increased 0.3 percent to $1,379.20 an ounce.
Wage negotiations between the world’s three largest platinum producers and a South African union were suspended Feb. 5 without a settlement. South African police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse striking workers at an Anglo American Platinum Ltd. mine in violent protests that left one person dead, the labor group said today.
Palladium futures for delivery in March fell 0.2 percent to $708.80 an ounce.