Gold falls on strong U.S. jobs report

By Xu JingUnreguser

CHICAGO, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Friday as the U.S. monthly jobs report is much better than expected.

The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 54.2 U.S. dollars, or 2.81 percent, to close at 1,876.6 dollars per ounce.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 in January, much better than 187,000 expected. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4 percent, a level not seen since May 1969.

Much better than expected monthly job data boosted the U.S. dollar index and treasury yields strongly.

Gold futures settled at its lowest level in more than three weeks, down 2.7 percent for the week.

Other economic data released Friday further dampened gold. The S&P U.S. services purchasing managers index came in at 46.8 percent in January, up from the final December estimate of 44.7 and remains in contraction territory.

The Institute for Supply Management's services index came in at 55.2 percent in January, rising more than expected above the 50-percent threshold signaling growth in the sector.

Silver for March delivery fell 1.21 dollars, or 5.12 percent, to close at 22.405 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery fell 52.3 dollars, or 5.06 percent, to close at 980.3 dollars per ounce.

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