Gold Futures Settle Modestly Higher

Gold futures settled higher on Monday, but the gain was just modest as the dollar surged against major counterparts amid concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The dollar index climbed to 103.77, gaining more than 0.8% amid hopes the Fed will continue to hold interest rates at higher levels after data showed stronger than expected jobs growth in the month of December.

Gold futures for April ended higher by $2.90 or nearly 0.2% at $1,879.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended down $0.168 at $22.237 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.0350 per pound, down $0.0215 from the previous close.

Data from the Labor Department showed on Friday that the non

Demand for the safe-haven commodity increased amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and China after the U.S. military shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the California coast on Saturday.

On Friday, the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report said non-farm payroll employment soared by 517,000 jobs in January after surging by an upwardly revised 260,000 jobs in December.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 185,000 jobs compared to the addition of 223,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The report also said the unemployment rate edged down to 3.4% in January from 3.5% in December. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to inch up to 3.6%.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management showed service sector activity in the U.S. rebounded by much more than expected in the month of January.

The ISM said its services PMI jumped to 55.2 in January from a revised 49.2 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 50.4 from the 49.6 originally reported for the previous month.

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