Gold shoots up on Ukraine jitters, looks past robust U.S. jobs data

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Investing.com - Gold prices shot up on Friday as fears the Ukraine crisis will escalate bolstered the yellow metal's appeal as a safe-haven asset class, giving investors room to overlook an upbeat U.S. jobs report.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery traded at 1,300.60 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 1.34%, up from a session low of $1,275.20 and off a high of $1,304.80.

The June contract settled down 0.96% at $1,283.40 on Thursday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,275.20 a troy ounce, the session low, and resistance at $1,306.50, Monday's high.

Gold prices shrugged off otherwise bearish data out of the U.S. labor market.

The Labor Department reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, beating expectations for a 210,000 increase. March's figure was revised up to a 203,000 rise from a previously estimated 192,000 gain.

The private sector added 273,000 last month, more than an expected 210,000 increase. In March, the number of private sector jobs was revised up to a 202,000 increase a previously estimated 192,000 rise.

The report also showed that the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in April, from 6.7% the previous month, compared to expectations for a fall 6.6%.

Separately, data showed that U.S. factory orders rose 1.1% in March, less than the expected 1.4% gain, after a 1.5% rise in February, whose figure was revised down from a previously estimated 1.6% increase.

The data cemented expectations that the Federal Reserve remains on course to dismantle stimulus programs that have supported gold prices since 2012.

Geopolitical concerns, however, eclipsed the robust U.S. jobs numbers.

The U.N. Security Council was set to discuss the Ukraine crisis on Friday, while separately, U.S. President Barack Obama threatened to slap fresh sanctions on Russia if Moscow disrupts Ukrainian elections scheduled for May 25.

Ukraine's army and a pro-Russian rebels continued to skirmish, stoking fears that the crisis will develop and drag the U.S. deeper into the standoff, which could weaken the dollar.

Gold and the dollar tend to trade inversely with one another.

Meanwhile, silver for July delivery was up 2.36% at $19.493 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were up 1.55% at $3.068 a pound.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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