Gold made its biggest jump in two months on Wednesday, rising back above $1,200 to end the day at $1,204.10/oz.
Data from the ADP Research Institute showed that U.S. companies added 189,000 workers in March, the smallest gain since January 2014. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting the number to be around 225,000. The disappointing figures fed speculation that the Fed will postpone raising interest rates.
Investors are now awaiting nonfarm payrolls data from the U.S. Department of Labor set to be released on Friday. The markets will be closed, however, so investors will not have the opportunity to react to the news.
The news did not have the same effect on the stock market, as the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and Nasdaq composite indexes each fell by 0.4%.
Three other economic reports showed a weak start to the second quarter:
- Factory activity grew at a slower pace in March as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell to 51.5 from 52.9 in February. This is the index’s fifth straight monthly drop.
- Construction spending in February fell 0.1% after dropping 1.7% in January, the government reported.
- Sales declined for most automakers in March. Ford sales fell 3.4% and General Motors sales dropped 2.4%.
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