Silver Prices were on track for their fifth loss in six days Thursday, as demand for precious metals continued to wane ahead of key U.S. jobs data on Friday.
Silver for May delivery declined 9 cents, or 0.5%, to $17.21 a troy ounce at 6:35 a.m. ET. The futures prices fluctuated within a narrow range of $17.15 and $17.31 through the overnight session.
The grey metal has declined 3% during the week and is on track for its lowest settlement since January 30. Prices are down 7% from the 2017 closing high of $18.49.
Gold futures were down $3.00, or 0.3%, at $1,206.20 a troy ounce Thursday morning. Bullion has declined over $50 since the end of February, and is approaching a critical zone of support that, if breached, could expose the metal to further losses.
The U.S. dollar index hit fresh three-month highs in overnight trade after stronger than expected jobs data fueled expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The dollar index reached a session high of 102.25. It was last seen trading at 102.05, little changed from its previous close.
On Wednesday, the ADP Research Institute said U.S. companies hired 298,000 workers in February, the most in nearly three years. The reading, which exceeded analysts’ expectations by more than 100,000, boosted optimism that the upcoming nonfarm payrolls report will also surprise to the upside.
The Labor Department will issue its official jobs data Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The report is expected to show the creation of 195,000 nonfarm jobs last month. The unemployment rate is also forecast to drop to 4.7% from 4.8%, while average earnings are expected to pick up 0.3%.