Gold rose to an intra-day high following the report that non-farm private employment growth was below expectations in February at 183,000 vs 189,000 predicted. January figures were revised upward by 87,000.
- While February saw less growth than expected, January figures were revised upward significantly from 213,000 to 300,000.
- Medium businesses saw the bulk of the added jobs, with most new jobs created in the services sector.
- Gold futures hit a six-week low, perhaps signaling a reduced aversion to risk in the markets.
Small businesses of between 1 – 49 employees added 12,000 new private sector jobs, while medium businesses sized between 50-499 employees added the lions share of 95,000. Large businesses from 500-999 employees added 95,000 new jobs in February.
Goods-producing industries like mining, construction, and manufacturing added 44,000 jobs and franchise employment added 25,000. By far the largest share went to service-providing industries which added 139,000 jobs across multiple sectors.
The sectors include trade, information, professional and business services, admin and support services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services. The only main area that saw contraction was education with 2,000 fewer jobs in February.
The January hike from an originally-estimated 213,000 to the upwardly-revised 300,000 points to health in the labor market overall, and is inarguably more significant that the less-impactful February figures.
— Trading Economics (@tEconomics) March 6, 2019
“Gold in longer term is very much supported, partially due to shift in sentiments and global slowdown. In the shorter term, gold continues to show signs of bearish weakness and there is some room to go further south before it resumes its positive trend,” said Benjamin Lu, an analyst with Singapore-based Phillip Futures.
Gold prices hit an intra-day high following the report, and gold Comex futures rose 0.25% and last traded up 1285.40/oz and are still up 0.06%. Spot gold rose to a high of $1,290.87/oz and is currently trading at $1,284.86/oz.