Gold Price Drops 2.6% This Week, Lowest Since July

New York (Dec 8)  Gold prices dropped to their lowest in almost five months Friday, extending recent losses amid speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates early in 2018.

A rate hike next week is practically a shoo-in, as the US created 228,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate was steady at 4.1%.

However, average hourly employee earnings were up by 2.5% year-over-year in November, reflecting an acceleration from 2.4% in October but below estimates for 2.7% growth.

FTN Financial Chief Economist Chris Low: "From the Fed's perspective, there is nothing here likely to prevent a rate hike next week, but because a hike was nearly fully priced in anyway, it should not change expectations."

Feb. gold fell USD4.70, or 0.4%, to settle at USD1,248.40/oz, having dropped 2.6% this week.

Rising stocks and stronger dollar also dented oil prices.

AllianceNews

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