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Gold Rises as Jobs Report Decreases Chance of Fed Hikes in 2019

© Reuters. – Gold prices rose on Friday, on track for the highest weekly gain since August as lower-than-expected jobs data weighed on the U.S. dollar.

Comex for February delivery jumped 0.62% to $1,251.35 a troy ounce as of 11:26 AM ET (16:26 GMT).

Disappointing jobs data pushed the U.S. dollar lower, which helped boost demand for gold.

rose by 155,000 in November, which was lower than expected. But that puts less pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise rates next year.

The Fed is expected to in December, but will likely slow down its pace of rate hikes in 2019.

The jobs report follows comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell last month that signaled the central bank’s three-year tightening cycle was drawing to a close. Powell said the bank’s policy rate was “just below” estimates of a level that neither cools nor boosts a healthy economy.

“This was slightly disappointing on the headline level, but wage growth coming in as expected keeps the Fed on track to raise rates in December,” said Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments in Toronto.

“The overall effect has been a sell-off in the dollar, largely in a reaction to a lower expectation for rate hikes in 2019,” he said.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.12% to 96.65.

The precious metal usually falls as the dollar rises, as it is denominated in the U.S. currency and is sensitive to moves. Bullion becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies when the dollar rises and cheaper when it falls.

Other metals were lower on the Comex, with rising 1.05% to $14.662 a troy ounce. Among other precious metals, increased 0.39% to $792.70 while rose 2.18% to $1,166.80 an ounce. futures were up 0.18% to $2.748 a pound.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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