Gold steadied near $1,840 an ounce on Friday

Gold steadied near $1,840 an ounce on Friday after retreating from multi-month highs in the previous session, as investors look ahead to a key US jobs report that could shed light on the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening path. The metal fell more than 1% on Thursday after data showed that US private employment increased by 235,000 jobs in December, far exceeding expectations for a 150,000 rise. The latest JOLTs Job Openings figures and jobless claims numbers also pointed to a still-tight US labor market, giving the US central bank room to keep raising interest rates. Meanwhile, concerns over the health of the US economy continued to support gold prices as the latest US manufacturing and services PMI data indicated weakening activity in the world’s largest economy.

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