Gold prices moved higher on Friday, lifted by the Labor Department’s data that showed a much bigger than expected jump in unemployment in the U.S. in the month of March due to business shutdowns amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Gold futures for June ended up $8.00, or about 0.5%, at $1,645.70 an ounce.
On Thursday, gold futures ended higher by about 2.9%, tracking a four-day losing streak.
For the week, gold futures shed 0.5%.
Silver futures for May declined $0.16, or 1.1%, to $14.494 an ounce, while Copper futures for May eased by 1.2% to $2.1925 per pound.
The Labor Department report said employment plunged by 701,000 jobs in March after jumping by an upwardly revised 275,000 jobs in February.
Economists had expected employment to slump by 100,000 jobs compared to the addition of 273,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
With the much bigger than expected drop in employment, the unemployment rate surged up to 4.4% in March from 3.5% in February. The unemployment rate had been expected to climb to 3.8%.
According to the latest update from Fitch Ratings, the escalation in coronavirus crisis is expected to trigger a deep global recession and the fall this year’s GDP is likely to be on par with the global financial crisis.
Fitch expects world economic activity will decline 1.9% in 2020. It expects US GDP to fall by 3.3%, the euro area by 4.2% and the UK to drop 3.9% this year.