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Gold Falls on Stronger Than Expected Jobs Report

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Friday on a stronger than expected jobs report.

The most active gold contract for February delivery fell 31.90 U.S. dollars, or 1.56 percent, to close at 2,014.50 dollars per ounce.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 199,000 jobs in November, slightly above the 180,000 jobs forecast by economists. The unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in November.

Stronger than expected jobs data suggest that market expectations for a rate cut early next year are probably premature, boosting the U.S. dollar index and Treasury yields, dampening gold instead.

The preliminary reading of consumer sentiment index released on Friday by the University of Michigan came at 69.4 in December from a 6-month low of 61.3 in November, the highest level since August. Economists had expected a December reading of 62.4.

The Federal Open Market Committee December meeting will convene on Tuesday and conclude on Wednesday. It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will keep the rate unchanged at the meeting.

Silver for March delivery fell 78.30 cents, or 3.25 percent, to close at 23.276 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery rose 7.80 dollars, or 0.86 percent, to close at 919.80 dollars per ounce.