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Gold prices held steady on Friday as investors remained cautious after U.S. Treasury yields hit multi-year peaks and on expectations that strong jobs data later in the day could boost the Federal Reserve’s case for a tighter monetary policy.

Investors are expected to scour the U.S. government’s September payroll report scheduled for release on Friday and look closely for signs of wage growth.

A Reuters survey showed economists on average expect a rise of 185,000 in September after a jump of 201,000 in August. MKTS/GLOB gold XAU= inched down 0.1 percent to $1,197.64 an ounce at 0723 GMT.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 were flat at $1,201.3 an ounce.

“A robust NFP (non-farm payroll) print coupled with signs of rising wage growth could fuel expectations over the Fed tightening policy faster than projected,” said Lukman Otunuga, Research Analyst for FXTM.

The Fed raised U.S. rates last week and said it planned four more increases by the end of 2019 and another in 2020, citing steady economic growth and a robust jobs market. U.S. benchmark interest rate expected before the end of this year is underpinning current U.S. dollar strength, which in turn is keeping the U.S. dollar gold price subdued,” said Ronan Manly, precious metals analyst at Singapore-based dealer BullionStar.

Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

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