Gold futures ended modestly lower Friday but notched a weekly gain, as a closely watched report on U.S. employment came in better than expected, perhaps affirming the perception that the Federal Reserve will likely hold off on further rate cuts after delivering its third consecutive interest-rate reduction on Wednesday.
December gold fell $3.40, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,511.40 an ounce, but closed out the week with a 0.4% gain based on the most-active contract's finish from last Friday. The U.S. created 128,000 new jobs in October, coming in stronger the economists' consensus estimates, overshadowing some weakness in the manufacturing.
The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 47.8% last month, marking the lowest level since June 2009. However, gold has held on to a psychologically significant level above $1,500 as investors harbor doubts that the Fed is done cutting rates.