Gold and silver prices ended little lower on Friday, 08 March 2019 at Comex. Prices ended lower despite a lower dollar.

Gold ended 0.4% lower about $1,300 and silver languished a little above $15.

The dollar index ended lower by 0.4% on Friday.

U.S. equities declined Friday, fueling risk-off sentiment, as data revealed that the U.S. added just 20,000 new jobs last month, the smallest gain since September 2017. Asian markets also saw a sharp retreat after China reported that exports fell by a much larger-than-expected 20.7% in February, compared with the prior year. Weak economic data raise concerns of a slowdown in energy demand.

Reviewing Friday's economic data, which included the February Employment Situation Report and the Housing Starts and Building Permits Report for January, the February Employment Situation Report muddied what had been a pretty clear labor market picture. The headline that will jump out at everyone is that nonfarm payrolls increased by only 20,000 in February, well below expectations and far off recent readings running above 200,000. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, increased 0.4%, which left the year-over-year wage figure up 3.4%. That's good news, as it is a positive underpinning for consumer spending.

Separately, Housing starts increased 18.6% month-over-month in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.230 million units (consensus 1.180 million) and permits rose 1.4% month-over-month to 1.345 million (consensus 1.280 million). The key takeaway from the report, however, is that starts were down 7.8% year-over-year and permits were down 1.5% year-over-year. Accordingly, the strong January figures belie an otherwise torpid new residential construction market.

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