Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped below 1,300 U.S. dollars an ounce Friday, losing more than 2 percent in the week on a much stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for October.
The most active gold contract for December delivery fell 23.9 dollars, or 1.83 percent, to settle at 1,284.6 dollars per ounce. The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double Wall Street expectations despite a partial government shutdown,which was expected to weigh on hiring.
The jobs report absolutely blew past market expectations. Market analysts say that Thursday's release of the surprisingly strong U.S. gross domestic product figure for the third quarter also strengthened the argument for the Federal Reserve to reduce stimulus before the end of this year, which pressured the gold trading.
Also on Friday, a piece of downbeat data on consumer sentiment failed to provide any significant safe-haven support for gold.
The preliminary November reading of the University of Michigan/ Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index hit 72, the lowest level in nearly two years. Silver for December delivery fell 34 cents, or 1.57 percent, to close at 21.317 dollars per ounce.