Gold futures began Friday by edging up in value, making the most of their worst-performing week in 24-plus months.
GoldAlert.com reports the climb is attributable to U.S. Labor Department data indicating last month's non-farm payrolls increased as much as 244,000, which went well beyond what was expected of the market. Gold futures were en route to a 5.7 percent drop this week, which would be the precious metal's worst drive since December 2008.
"Prices have dropped so much over the past few days and bargain hunters are in," Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures, told Reuters. "Gold is a better bet than silver or oil, as losses would be capped by its safe-haven status."
At 9:35 a.m. on Friday, gold futures were up 0.85 percent, a $12.60 climb to $1,494 per troy ounce.
The yellowish metal is again nearing the benchmark price of $1,500 per troy ounce, which it shot passed in April. But analysts are wondering about the status of the U.S.' climb back from the deep recession.
"From a fundamental point of view, people are really starting to question where the U.S. economic recovery is and whether asset prices should be at such high levels," Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services in Sydney, told Reuters.
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