Last Friday, the Labor Department said U.S. employers added 288,000 jobs in April, the largest monthly gain in over two years, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%.
Improving economic data, particularly on the jobs front, has stoked inflows to an array of exchange traded funds, namely equity-based fare, but gold funds could languish as risk appetite increases.
The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) rose just 0.14% last with the bulk of that modest gain arguably tied to India’s Akshaya Tritiya festival. India’s festival and wedding season is considered a good time to purchase gold. Gold is India’s second-largest import behind oil. [Indian Holiday Could Boost Gold ETFs]
“The gold price continued to decline last week as equities recovered despite a mere 0.1% print for US Q1 GDP, with investors’ preferring to focus on the green shoots of spring. Better than expected US unemployment data on Friday with the rate dropping to 6.3% from 6.7%, confirmed what most analysts have been expecting, a pickup in economic growth following the extremely harsh winter,” according to a new research note from ETF Securities.
While the jobs report hampered gold ETFs a bit, silver traders opted to focus more on a slack reading of first-quarter GDP out of the U.S., sending the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) down nearly 1% last week. SLV is down 2.5% over the past month while GLD is lower by 0.4%. About half of silver consumption is tied to industrial use.
Another precious metal with heavy industrial use is palladium, but the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEArca: PALL) turned in a solid 1% gain last week on the back of a familiar catalyst: Labor strife in South Africa, the world’s second-largest producer of the metal. [Platinum Group ETFs Shine]