RTTNews - Gold prices soared on Wednesday as a disappointing jobs report sent traders flocking toward the safety investment. A weaker dollar also added to the metal's hedge appeal.

December gold closed the session at $978.50 per ounce, up $22 on the session. This marks the best close in nearly three months for gold, which earlier in the day hit as high as $981.40.

The dollar fell toward 1.4300 versus the euro, backing off of a two-week high. The greenback dropped off a six-week high against the sterling.

Automatic Data Processing reported non-farm private employment fell by 298,000 jobs in August following a revised decrease of 360,000 jobs in July. Economists had expected a decrease of about 246,000 jobs compared to the loss of 371,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

More jobs news is on the way tomorrow as the report on initial jobless claims are expected at 570,000 for the week ended August 29, the same as the prior week. The Labor Department's monthly employment situation report is due on Friday.

Also on Wednesday, a Commerce Department report showed that productivity increased by 6.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the 6.4 percent increase that was reported last month. Productivity increased at the fastest pace since a 9.7 percent increase in the third quarter of 2003.

Later, separate Commerce Department data showed factory orders rose 1.3% in July. Orders were expected to rise 1.5%, compared to a 0.4% jump in June.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com