Gold jumped to a seven-week high after a report showed that the US economy added fewer jobs than forecast, easing concerns that the US Federal Reserve will soon pare back stimulus. Nickel and aluminum led gains in most base metals.
Data on Friday showed that the US non-farm payrolls increased 235,000 last month, the smallest gain in seven months and well below economists’ forecasts.
The US dollar fell after the report, boosting demand the appeal of metals for investors holding other currencies.
Bullion has struggled this year amid a global economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has raised the prospect of central banks reining in massive monetary stimulus.
Spot gold on Friday rose 1.1 percent to US$1,829.09 an ounce in New York, after touching US$1,834.04, the highest since July 15. The precious metal gained 0.9 percent this week.
Silver jumped as much as 4 percent on Friday. Platinum and palladium also climbed.
In base metals, aluminum added 1.3 percent to US$2,730 a ton on the London Metal Exchange, posting a second weekly gain. The metal climbed to a 10-year high this week as Chinese supply was constrained by an electricity savings drive.
Copper rose 0.7 percent in London and nickel climbed 2.1 percent. Tin and lead dropped.
The rise of rhodium, the world’s most expensive precious metal, has made it the No. 1 revenue stream of the biggest platinum miners.
While the metal is well shy of its March peak, rhodium still accounted for 45 percent of Anglo American Platinum Ltd’s first-half revenues. That is more than platinum and palladium put together.
For parent Anglo American PLC, the metal generated more revenue than the diamonds mined by its De Beers business or the copper it extracts in Chile and Peru.
The scarcity of rhodium — a byproduct of platinum and palladium mining — and its unparalleled ability to curb nitrogen oxides from vehicle exhaust fumes pushed up prices as stricter pollution laws boost demand.
In March, it climbed to a record US$29,800 an ounce, making it 17 times more valuable than gold. Originally used for decoration or as corrosion-resistant coating, rhodium has also become the biggest export for South Africa, which produces more than 80 percent of global supply.
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