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Gold futures headed for the biggest drop in almost four months to below $1,700 an ounce as U.S. payrolls in October rose more than forecast, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to expand monetary stimulus.
A Labor Department report showed a net 171,000 workers were hired after a 148,000 gain in September that was more than estimated.
In addition, in September, factory orders in the U.S. slowed growth, but exceeded forecasts. Orders excluding defense and aircraft industry increased by 0.2% compared to 0.3% in August, while in July, the indicator has fallen by 5.6%, as the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The overall rate increased by 4.8%. Economists had expected a gain of 4.6%.
Importers of gold in India - the world's largest consumer of the precious metal - increasing their purchases at the height of the holiday season, which will culminate in November during festivals Diwali and Dhanteras.
Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti on Friday suspended the work of one of the mines in South Africa because of the strike, and the world's largest gold producer, Barrick Gold Corp reported a sharp drop in profit in the third quarter.
Gold futures for December delivery tumbled to 1679.90 dollars per ounce on COMEX today.
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