Investing.com - Gold futures ended Friday's session little changed in holiday-thinned trade, as Thursday's robust U.S. nonfarm payrolls data dampened demand for the precious metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery tacked on 0.05%, or 70 cents, on Friday to end the week at $1,321.30 a troy ounce.
Trading volumes were thin on Friday, as U.S. markets remained closed for the Fourth of July holiday.
Gold prices were likely to find support at $1,305.40, the low from June 25 and resistance at $1,334.90, the high from July 1.
On the week, Comex gold advanced 0.09%, or $1.30 an ounce, the fifth consecutive weekly gain.
Gold came under pressure on Thursday after the U.S. Department of Labor said non-farm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 288,000 in June, easily surpassing expectations for an increase of 212,000.
The unemployment rate ticked down to a five-and-a-half year low of 6.1% from 6.3% in May. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to hold steady at 6.3% last month.
The upbeat jobs report bolstered the outlook for the broader economic recovery and revived speculation over when the Federal Reserve may start to raise interest rates.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rallied to 80.60 on Thursday, the highest since June 18, before trimming gains to end the week at 80.31.
A stronger dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Wednesdays' minutes of the Federal Reserve's June meeting, with few other major U.S. economic reports on the calendar.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish bets in gold futures in the week ending July 1.
Net longs totaled 136,929 contracts, up 16.4% from net longs of 114,356 in the preceding week.
Also on the Comex, silver for September delivery inched up 0.3%, or 6.3 cents, on Friday to settle the week at $21.20 a troy ounce. The September silver futures contract rose 0.33%, or 7.0 cents, on the week.
Data from the CFTC showed that net silver longs totaled 36,697 contracts as of last week, compared to net longs of 24,757 contracts in the preceding week.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery rose to a daily high of $3.286 a pound on Friday, the most since February 21, before turning lower to settle at $3.270, down 0.27%, or 0.9 cents.
On the week, Comex copper prices rallied 3.11%, or 10.2 cents a pound, the third consecutive weekly advance.
Copper prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid growing optimism over the health of the U.S. economy and speculation demand from top consumer China will increase in the near-term.
According to the CFTC, net copper longs totaled 24,767 contracts as of last week, compared to net longs of 14,325 contracts in the preceding week.
Copper traders will be looking ahead to key inflation and trade data out of China due later in the week. The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption.
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