Silver prices continued to exhibit a bearish bias Thursday, as demand for precious metals waned in the lead up to Friday’s US nonfarm payrolls report.
March silver futures slipped 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $16.43 a troy ounce at 7:42 am ET. Prices were down more than 1% earlier in the session. The grey metal is trading slightly lower this week, with the $16.20 region acting as a major short-term support area.
Silver exhibits overwhelmingly bearish signals, with relative strength approaching oversold levels and the MACD showing continuing declining momentum.
Gold futures were trading at more than nine-month lows Thursday. The March futures contract fell $3.60, or 0.3%, to $1,170.30 a troy ounce.
Precious metals were hammered in mid-week trading after upbeat jobs and earnings data sent the US dollar soaring. The dollar index reversed course on Thursday and was last seen trading 0.3% lower.
Payrolls processor ADP reported on Wednesday that US private employers added 216,000 jobs last month. The reading was well above forecasts and continued to highlight the strength of the US labour market.
On Friday, the Labor Department is expected to report the creation of 170,000 nonfarm jobs in November, according to a median estimate of economists. That figure should be enough to convince the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month for the first time in a year.
Global stock markets diverged on Thursday. Asian stocks finished higher across the board amid surging oil prices and stronger than expected Chinese PMI data. Meanwhile, European equities traded firmly to the downside, as investors looked ahead to Italy’s upcoming referendum on constitutional reform.
US stock futures were trading slightly lower in pre-market activity, pointing to a soft start to the day on Wall Street.