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Bengaluru — Gold prices held steady near a five-month peak hit early on Monday, supported by a disappointing US jobs report that fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve may stop raising interest rates sooner than expected. Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,248.96/oz, as of 4.32am GMT, after hitting its highest since July 11 at $1,250.55 earlier in the session. US gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,254.2/oz. US nonfarm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs in November, below economists’ median forecast of 200,000 jobs and the wage increase was softer than expected. Some Fed policymakers have struck a cautious tone about the economic outlook, possibly flagging a turning point in its monetary policy. Gold tends to gain when rate hike expectations recede because lower rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding nonyielding bullion. Lower interest rates also tend to weigh on US yields and the dollar, in which gold is priced. “There is also some safe-haven demand coming back in gold,” said Argonau...

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