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Gold bounces off 7 week lows hit after Macrons French election win

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Gold prices were higher in North American trade on Monday, bouncing off a seven-week low touched overnight in the wake of Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidential election.

Comex gold futures tacked on around $6.50, or about 0.5%, to $1,233.30 a troy ounce by 8:05AM ET (12:05GMT). Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,232.90.

Prices of the yellow metal fell to an overnight low of $1,221.0, a level not seen since March 16.

Also on the Comex, silver futures rose 14.3 cents, or 0.9% to $16.41 a troy ounce, moving away from last week's four-month low of $16.21.

Pro-European Union, market-friendly centrist Emmanuel Macron beat anti-EU, anti-immigration far-rightist Marine Le Pen to clinch the French presidency in the second round of voting on Sunday.

With virtually all votes counted, results showed Macron had topped 66% against just under 34% for Le Pen, delivering a result that most investors were hoping for.

The victory for Macron signaled that political risks in France and across Europe are receding, in the wake of the populist surge which resulted in Brexit and propelled Donald Trump to the White House.

The French election overshadowed Friday’s U.S. jobs report, which showed that the economy added 211,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for a gain of 185,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.4%, a near a 10-year low.

The report also showed that the prior month’s figure of 98,000 was revised down to an even lower 79,000.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% in April. However, downward revisions to previous months lowered the year-on-year increase to 2.5%, the smallest gain since August 2016, from 2.6% in March.

The jobs data did little to alter the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June. Markets are pricing in around a 75% chance of a hike at the Fed's June meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Key U.S. economic data this week could provide further evidence if the world’s largest economy is strong enough to withstand a rate hike as early as next month, with Friday's retail sales and inflation reports in the spotlight.

Elsewhere in metals trading, platinum climbed 1% to $919.25, while palladium added 0.5% to $816.70 an ounce.

Copper futures dropped 4.6 cents, or 1.8%, to $2.483 a pound.

Data released overnight showed that China's exports and imports rose in April but missed analysts' expectations, as domestic and foreign demand faltered and commodity prices fell.

China's April exports rose 8.0% from a year earlier, while imports expanded 11.9%, official data showed on Monday. That left the country with a trade surplus of $38.05 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said.

Worries about Chinese growth hit commodities markets hard last week with copper losing nearly 3%.


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