Gold and silver moved higher Friday morning on reports that over 95% of Greek government bondholders have signed on to the country’s debt-swap accord and that the U.S. Labor Department posted a greater-than-expected rise in nonfarm employment.
Spot gold was up 0.45% as of 11:40 a.m., having traded as high as 1,715.40 and as low as 1,675.80, according to Kitco market data. The London afternoon reference price was fixed at $1,687.50, a $2.50-an-ounce decline from Thursday’s reference price.
Spot silver was showing a 0.65% gain, bid at $34.10 with an ask price of $34.20. The morning high as of time of writing was $34.48, and the low was $33.04. Friday’s reference price was set at $33.87 in the London a.m., 22 cents an ounce below Thursday’s reference price.
Nearly 96% of private Greek government bondholders tendered for a debt swap that will reduce Greece’s debt by more than 100 billion euros ($132 billion), paving the way for a second 130 billion euro ($172 billion) round of EU rescue funding. Markets will be watching next month’s Greek elections closely to see if a newly elected government will adhere to all of the terms of the bailout.
Nonfarm payrolls increased a higher-than-expected 227,000 in February, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3%, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Private-sector employment rose 233,000, driven higher by increases in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing and mining, while government employment was essentially unchanged.
The labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio both edged higher, to 63.9% and 58.6%, respectively.
The dollar price of gold bullion dropped more than $20, below $1,680 an ounce in London trading Friday morning. Dollar gold bullion was down 1.9% on the week as of lunchtime Friday, according to BullionVault’s London Gold Market report.
“It’s difficult to see what would make gold push higher,” said Citigroup metals research analyst David Wilson Friday. “[It] seems odd because you would want to be buying gold if Europe is still a big risk and the U.S isn’t, but that’s not how it’s been trading.”
Gold and silver trusts also were moving higher.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were moving higher as well.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) was up around 0.6%.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) was showing gains of some 1.15%.
The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was up some 0.45%.
Gold mining shares were broadly higher, Barrick Gold and Yamana Gold the exceptions.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) was showing gains of more than 1.8%.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was down nearly 0.5%.
Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO) was sharply higher, up nearly 2%.
Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was up more than 0.5%.
Kinross Gold Corp. USA (NYSE:KGC) was surging higher, up just over 2%.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was up more than 0.45%.
NovaGold Resources (NYSEAMEX:NG) was sharply higher, up nearly 1.8%.
Yamana Gold (USA) (NYSE:AUY) was down 0.7%.
Silver mining shares were heading higher, except Silver Wheaton.
Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was showing strong gains, up more than 2.1%.
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was spiking higher, up between 3.5% and 4%.
Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was showing gains of around 1.6%.
Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was down nearly 0.6%.
Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was showing gains of nearly 0.6%.
As of this writing, Andrew Burger did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Adrian Ash of BullionVault contributed to this report.