Investing.com - Gold prices remained at three-month lows on Friday, as expectations for a June rate hike surged, after the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected in April, while unemployment fell to its lowest level since May 2007.
Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $0.24 or 0.03%, to $1,229.09 a troy ounce by 13:31 EDT. Gold is on track for its biggest weekly drop in six-months.
Gold prices eased from session highs, as investor sentiment shifted towards risker assets, after The Labor Department said that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs, which confounded expectations for an increase of 185,000.
The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since May 2007, dropping to 4.4%, down from 4.5% in March.
The bullish jobs report sparked investors' expectations for a June rate hike. According to investing.com's Fed rate monitor tool, 74% of traders expect the U.S. central bank to increase its benchmark rate in June compared to roughly 60% of traders in the previous week.
Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
The selloff in gold eased later during the session, as investors looked ahead to the French election runoff vote, scheduled for Sunday.
After a strong performance by pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron in a TV presidential debate against rival Marine Le Pen on Wednesday, investors remained optimistic that Macron will garner enough votes to win the French presidency on Sunday.
Elsewhere, investors looked ahead to a raft of comments from Federal Reserve officials including Fed chair Janet Yellen and San Francisco Fed President John Williams .
In other precious metals trading, silver futures added 0.26% to $16.347 a troy ounce while platinum traded at $910.95, up 0.36%.
Copper gained 0.74% to $2.530 while natural gas rose by 2.45% to $3.264.
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