Comex gold, copper dip in aftermath of US jobs release

Comex copper prices were again trading in negative territory after a solid US employment report strengthened the dollar and put pressure on the entire commodities space.

Copper for March delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped 1.15 cents or 0.5% to $2.5260 per lb. Trade has ranged from $2.5145 to $2.5450.

Comex gold for February settlement fell $3.70 or 0.3% to $1,177.50 per oz. The contract had been trading at a one-month high in recent sessions.

This morning, the non-farm employment change for December showed 156,000 Americans entered the workforce, a slight miss from the 175,000 forecast.

However, the figure for the previous month was revised up 19,000 jobs and the headline unemployment figure came in as expected at 4.7%.

The big surprise was that average hourly earnings grew by 0.4% month-on-month, bringing total wage growth to 2.9% for the year and the highest level since before the recession.

But the dollar is providing a major headwind for the metals space, with the dollar index recently trading at 101.95 – the first gain since Tuesday.

Now investors await the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump to see what the volatile leader will implement once in office.

“All in all, I think with this out of the way, the focus will be more on January 20 now,” Metal Bulletin analyst William Adams said.

Turning to European markets, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 were down 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, while the dollar strengthened by 0.5% to 1.0553 against the euro.

In other commodities, light sweet crude (WTI) oil futures on the Nymex ticked up 38 cents or 0.7% to $54.14 per barrel, while Comex silver for March settlement was recently trading at $16.420 per oz., down 21.7 cents.

(Editing by David Jones)