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Gold Holds Near 4-month Low

Gold prices were flat Wednesday, pausing after sigificant recent losses.

The precious metal has come under pressure in December, hurt by a stronger dollar and expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week.

Feb. gold rose $1.20, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,266.10/oz -- holding near a 4-month low.

Traders considered a key prelude to Friday's official jobs report.

Employment in the U.S. private sector increased by slightly more than expected in the month of November, payroll processor ADP revealed in a report released on Wednesday.

ADP said private sector employment climbed by 190,000 jobs in November after surging up by 235,000 jobs in October. Economists had expected an increase of about 185,000 jobs.

Labor productivity in the U.S. saw a notable increase in the third quarter, according to a revised report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The report said labor productivity jumped by 3.0 percent in the third quarter, unchanged from the preliminary estimate. Economists had expected the increase in productivity to be upwardly revised to 3.3 percent.

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