Despite an awful end to the week for riskier assets at the hands of a highly disappointing April jobs report, gold and silver were both able to notch modestly higher closes. Gold snapped a four-day losing streak as Comex gold for June delivery gained $10.40, or 0.6%, to $1,645.20 an ounce. Making gold's positive close on the last trading day of the week all the more impressive was bullish action in the PowerShares DB Dollar Bullish (NYSE: UUP).
As we have noted many times this year, gold's safe haven status has all but gone the way of the do-do bird as investors have fretted over economic data points out of the U.S. and China along with lingering doubts regarding Europe's ability to solve its sovereign debt crisis. To that end it was almost shocking to see gold climb higher on a day when the S&P 500 skirted to its worst weekly loss of the year after the Labor Department said employers added 115,000 new jobs in April, well below the 160,00 economists expected. The March number was revised up to 154,000 from 120,000.
Decent action on Friday was enough to send the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) up 0.3% while the iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) added a quarter of percent. Still, it must be said both ETFs closed down for the week as gold futures endured a weekly loss of 1.2%.
The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) was another pleasant surprise on Friday, adding 0.4% on light volume, but that wasn't enough to erase a weekly loss that topped 3%. SLV remains below $30 and is more than 11% below its 200-day moving average.
Bullishness in precious metals, if it can even be called that, may be short lived as major elections are scheduled for this weekend in France and Greece. Socialist Francois Hollande is currently leading over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in France.
Not surprisingly, the jobs report rocked the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) to the tune of an above average volume loss of 1.3%. The ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) slid 0.3% on light volume.
On a terrible day for equities, it was no surprise to see the miners struggle. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL) almost 1% on volume that was nearly a third high than the daily average and that ETF looks determined to retest support at $20. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) slid 1.5%, but somehow, someway the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) closed higher.