Gold prices tumbled to their lowest level in nearly five months Friday on the back of stronger-than-expected employment data.
Futures for August delivery dropped 1 percent to $1,210.70 per ounce, reaching levels not seen since March 15. The precious metal was also on track for its fifth-straight weekly loss, its longest losing streak since December.
The U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 179,000.
Gold miners weren’t spared any pain either. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners exchange-traded fund (GDX) dropped 1.6 percent. The ETF had also fallen 4.2 percent for the week and was on pace for its biggest weekly loss since the week of April 28, when it fell 5.84 percent.
Gold has taken a hit since reaching its 2017 high of 1,297.50 in June, falling 6.7 percent.
Gold since June 6
“The main reason for gold’s pullback here is the hawkish rhetoric from major central banks and the adjustments to interest-rate expectations” by investors, said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets.
Central banks around the globe have been signaling their intentions to tighten monetary policy in the near future. Minutes from the European Central Bank’s June meeting showed officials discussed shifting their bias from easing to neutral. The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, is worried that current monetary policy posed a risk to the U.S. economy.
“When interest-rate expectations start to rise, you see investors shying away from the precious metals,” Gaffney said. “There’s a sentiment that rates are going higher globally, and today’s data didn’t do anything to change that.”