- Participation rate, or share of working-age people in the labor force, decreased to 62.7 percent from 62.9 percent
- The U-6 or underemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent, lowest since November 2007, from 8.6 percent; rate includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want a job but aren’t actively looking
- The measure known as part-time for economic reasons fell by 53,000 people to 5.22 million Private employment rose by 147,000 (forecast was 175,000) after a 173,000 increase; government payrolls fell by 9,000
- Factory payrolls fell by 1,000, construction was up 11,000; retail payrolls declined 6,100, the fourth straight drop; and leisure and hospitality employment rose by 31,000
- Average work week for all workers unchanged at 34.4 hours (forecast was 34.4 hours)
- Wages declined in manufacturing, utilities and professional and business services; pay rose in retail, construction, information
** Today's high (so far) is $1,279.2 per ounce; May 9th low is $1,217.8
Gold started the year nicely and should remain in my revised range of $1,180 to $1,320 per ounce*. Average gold price for 2017 is expected to print above $1,200 per ounce with an outside chance to see $1,400 given an adverse outcome for evolving U.S. trade policies, political or geo-political shocks (e.g., North Korea, Syria).
Gold has gained ground on the embattled euro and yen. Post-election, gold in euro and yen terms is up and safely above 2013 lows (chart below). It was somewhat worrisome that gold in euro terms broke below uptrend support March 9 and then again after French elections (i.e. defeat of Le Pen) but has since stabilized. Gold in yen has consistently trended higher.
An important gold ratio to watch is gold-to-S&P500 or AUSP (see "Chart to Watch" below).
Gold ratios relative to copper and oil are stabilizing near historically less extreme levels which is a healthy sign. Political and geo-political events together with concerns about the timing and efficacy of the new administration's policies have restored glitter to gold in 2017.
Gold below $1,200 per ounce-level is a tempting "buy."
(please do your own research, markets can turn on you faster than a feral cat!)
* My pre-election October range for gold price was $1,240 to $1,320 per ounce, Winter 2016 Edition of the Mining Quarterly:
Storms Never Last: Positive News for Gold, Oil & Copper
Here's a new chart to watch. Click on the image for a larger size:
Colonel Possum & Mariana