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Metals Stocks: Gold lower, clings to weekly gain as payrolls reading seen keeping Fed on track

Gold futures tipped into the red early Friday, struggling to build on postholiday gains ahead of the morning release of closely watched U.S. jobs data and any signs within it of building inflation pressures.

As the economic release was awaited, the latest lob in the trade spat between the U.S. and China took effect Friday as expected, casting a cautious tone across riskier financial markets including U.S. stocks, and again failing to gin up the typical demand that historically would have flowed into haven gold.

Friday’s main focus was the jobs report due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with consensus estimates from economists polled by MarketWatch expecting 200,000 jobs to be added in June, with unemployment holding steady at 3.8% and average hourly earnings rising by 0.3%, a metric that has been closely followed as investors watch for signs of rising inflation.

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