Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Friday, after a closely-watched February jobs report signaled stronger-than- expected employment trends, dulling the metal's investment appeal.
The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 13.6 U.S. dollars, or 1.01 percent, to settle at 1,338.2 dollars per ounce. The Labor Department said that U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls in February, topping the market consensus of 150, 000 positions.
Safe-haven assets like gold fell sharply in the wake of the upbeat jobs data. Analysts said the market has been looking to the U.S. economic data for clues on whether the Federal Reserve will continue to gradually taper its monthly bond-buying program.
Some analysts say, gold is experiencing a lack of safe-haven demand on Friday, with the situation in Ukraine stabilized, while others believe, the endgame is not currently clear. If the Ukraine situation further degrades, gold can still rise due to the safe- haven demand in the coming weeks.
Silver for May delivery lost 64.6 cents, or 3.0 percent, to close at 20.928 dollars per ounce.