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Gold Futures Settle Slightly Weak

Gold prices settled slightly lower on Friday as traders chose to pick up riskier assets such as equities after the mixed jobs data from the U.S. Labor Department raised prospects for a rate cut by the Federal Reserve and helped ease fears of a recession as well.

The dollar was quite sluggish, swinging between gains and losses in a narrow range. It was seen hovering around 98.80 in early afternoon trades, down 0.06% from previous close.

Gold futures for December ended down $0.90, or nearly 0.1%, at $1,512.90 an ounce, after having eased to $1,501.40 in morning trades.

On Thursday, gold futures for December up $5.90, or about 0.4%, at $1,513.80 an ounce.

For the week, gold futures gained about 0.4%.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.051, at $17.625 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled higher by $0.0090, at $2.5625 per pound.

The U.S. Labor Department's jobs report showed weaker than expected job growth in September, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a nearly 50-year low.

The report said non-farm payroll employment rose by 136,000 jobs in September compared to economist estimates for an increase of about 145,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the increases in employment in July and August were upwardly revised to 166,000 jobs and 168,000 jobs, respectively, reflecting the addition of 45,000 more jobs than previously reported.

The average monthly job growth has still slowed from 223,000 jobs per month in 2018 to 161,000 jobs per month so far in 2019.

The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% in September from 3.7% in August, dropping to its lowest level since hitting a matching rate in December of 1969.

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