Gold prices are steady to slightly lower in early U.S. trading Wednesday. Prices moved off the overnight lows when the U.S. ADP jobs report came in a bit lighter than expected. Still, buying interest in gold and silver is limited by the resurgent U.S. dollar index this week. December Comex gold was last down $0.20 at $1,090.40 an ounce. September Comex silver was last up $0.003 at $14.56 an ounce.
The July ADP jobs report showed a rise of 185,000, which was a slight miss to the downside of market expectations. The ADP report is a precursor to Friday’s more important U.S. jobs report for July from the Labor Department. The key non-farm payrolls number in Friday’s report is expected to be up 215,000. Friday’s jobs report and the one in September will be extra important to the market place, as the Fed weighs whether to raise interest rates at its September FOMC meeting.
A feature in the market place this week is the resurgent U.S. dollar index, which hit a 3.5-month high overnight. The greenback got an added boost Tuesday when reports said Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, told the Wall Street Journal the Fed is ready to raise U.S. interest rates in September. The Fed official’s comments also helped to pressure the gold market and U.S. Treasuries.