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MTECHTIPS:-Gold futures inch lower as U.S. markets closed for Labor Day

MTECHTIPS:-Gold futures inch lower as U.S. markets closed for Labor Day

Gold futures inched lower on Monday, as trade volumes were expected to remain light with many investors in the U.S. away for the Labor Day holiday. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $1.40, or 0.12%, to trade at $1,120.00 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours. Trading in gold and other metals ends at 1:00PM ET, while U.S. stock markets are closed for trading all day. On Friday, gold dropped $3.10, or 0.28%, after mixed U.S. payrolls data failed to quell uncertainty over the prospect of a near-term interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve. The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs last month, below forecasts for an increase of 220,000 and slowing from gains of 245,000 a month earlier. But the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.1%, its lowest level since April 2008 from 5.3% in July, while average hourly wages rose by a stronger-than-expected 2.2%. The jobs report failed to provide much clarity on when the Federal Reserve will decide to raise short term interest rates. The timing of a Fed rate hike has been a constant source of debate in the markets in recent months. Prices of the precious metal dropped $10.50, or 1.1%, last week, the second straight weekly loss. Gold fell to a five-and-a-half year low of $1,072.30 on July 24 amid speculation the Fed will raise interest rates in September for the first time since 2006. Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.
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