Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange finished with a modest loss on Friday as better-than-expected U.S. employment figures dulled the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.
The most active gold contract for June delivery shed 3.4 dollars, or 0.23 percent, to settle at 1,464.2 dollars per ounce. For the week, however, gold found support from the European Central Bank's decision to cut interest rates and from strength in physical demand to end the week 0.7 percent higher.
The U.S. economy created a net 165,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department said Friday. The number surpassed the 135,000 forecast of economists. The acceleration in hiring nudged the unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, according to reports.
Market analysts say that if hiring continues to rise at the current pace for the next two to three months, it would be bearish for safe havens like gold and silver.
Barclays confirmed Friday that outflows from gold exchange- traded products (ETP) hit a record in April, with a net outflow of 176 metric tons. Year to date, net outflows have reached 343 metric tons. ETP outflows remain a key downside risk to prices in the near term, according to Barclays' analysts.
Given that backdrop, silver for July delivery rose 18.4 cents, or 0.77 percent, to close at 24.014 dollars per ounce.