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MTECHTIPS:- Gold subdued with U.S. jobs report, Fed rate hike outlook in focus

MTECHTIPS:- Gold subdued with U.S. jobs report, Fed rate
hike outlook in focus

Gold futures struggled for direction on Monday, as investors looked ahead to Friday’s U.S. jobs report for August, which could help to provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term interest rate hike. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched down $2.00, or 0.18%, to trade at $1,132.00 a troy ounce during European morning hours. Gold lost 2% last week amid expectations the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates at its next policy meeting in September. Comments by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Friday suggested that the door was still open for a rate hike at the Fed’s next meeting due to take place September 16-17. Fischer said that the case for a rate increase in September was “pretty strong”, though it was still too soon to say what the central bank might do. The timing of a Fed rate hike has been a constant source of debate in the markets in recent months. The U.S. Labor Department will release its highly-anticipated report on August nonfarm payrolls at 8:30AM ET on Friday. The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 220,000 last month, following an increase of 215,000 in July, while the unemployment rate is forecast to decline to 5.2% from 5.3%. Monthly jobs gains above 200,000 are seen by economists as consistent with strong employment growth. A strong U.S. nonfarm payrolls report was likely to add to speculation over when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates, while a weak number could undermine the argument for an early rate hike.

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