CHICAGO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday soared to close at the highest level since Dec. 11 on disappointing U.S. job data, wrapping up the week with a gain of 0.7 percent.
The most active gold contract for February delivery rose 17.5 dollars, or 1.42 percent, to settle at 1,246.9 dollars per ounce.
U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that the country added just 74,000 jobs in December, the smallest gain in three years and far below the market forecast for an increase of 193,000 jobs.
The disappointing job data left investors to doubt the strength of economic recovery.
Market analysts believe it is very likely for gold to break the level of 1,250 dollars per ounce early next week. But only when gold prices stand above 1,300-dollar mark can one say that gold has entered an upward trend.
Silver for March delivery gained 54 cents, or 2.74 percent, to close at 20.223 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery added 17 dollars, or 1.2 percent, to close at 1,436.9 dollars per ounce.