By Debarati Roy - May 4, 2012 9:26 PM GMT+0800 .
Gold gained for the first time this week after a government report showed U.S. employers added fewer workers than forecast in April, raising speculation that the Federal Reserve will add stimulus measures to boost growth.
Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months, the Labor Department said. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 160,000 advance. Bullion surged about 70 percent from the end of December 2008 through June as the Fed held borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion in housing and government debt during two rounds of so-called quantitative easing.
“People are investing in gold for two reasons: One, because they are worried about the economy so this is a safe bet, and also should any kind of monetary of fiscal stimulus be announced, gold will be a good hedge,” Pratik Sharma, a fund manager at Boca Raton, Florida-based Atyant Capital Management Ltd., said in a telephone interview
Gold futures for June delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,637 an ounce at 9:25 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Prices fell 1.8 percent in the previous four days.
“Some people will be looking at gold as a flight-to- quality as the job numbers are lighter than expected,” Adam Klopfenstein, a market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “People are tilting towards the camp that expects some kind of easing.”
Silver futures for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $30.095 an ounce on the Comex.