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Gold Inches Higher Ahead Of US Jobs Data

Gold rose on Friday and remained on track to clock its best weekly gain since August, as the dollar held weak on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will pause its interest rate hike agenda after December.

Spot gold rose 0.22 percent to $1,240.79 per ounce after hitting a near five-month high of $1,244.32 per ounce in the previous session.

After Federal Reserve officials signaled a more flexible approach to policy in 2019, the Fed is now very data-dependant.

The dollar struggled to recover after overnight data on private sector employment, initial jobless claims, trade balance and service sector activity offered a mixed picture of the world's largest economy.

The all-important U.S jobs report is due tonight, with economists expecting employment to increase by 205,000 jobs in November after an increase of 250,000 jobs in October. The jobless rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.

Bond market fears also continued to exert downward pressure on the dollar, with an inverted yield curve signaling a sharp economic slowdown down the road.

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