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Gold futures pared early gains and settled lower on Friday as worries about imminent tapering of the bond buying program by the Federal Reserve weighed on the commodity.

Data showing weaker than expected jobs growth in the month of September had lifted gold prices early on in the session, but traders turned cautious and cut down long positions amid rising prospects of the central bank reducing its bond purchases from as early as November this year.

The dollar index drifted down to 93.94 after data showed weak jobs growth in November, but recovered to 94.10 as the session progressed. Still at 94.10, the dollar index is down by about 0.16%.

Gold futures for December ended lower by $1.80 or about 0.1% at $1,757.40 an ounce, coming off the day’s high of $1,782.40.

Silver futures for December ended higher by $0.047 or 0.2% at $22.705 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.2755 per pound, gaining $0.0320 or 0.8%.

Data from the Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment rose by 194,000 jobs in September after climbing by an upwardly revised 366,000 jobs in August.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 500,000 jobs compared to the addition of 235,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the much weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% in September from 5.2% in August. The unemployment rate was expected to edge down to 5.1%.

Meanwhile, the U.S. debt ceiling concerns receded after Senate approved a legislation to raise the debt limit by $480 billion that would run through early December.


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