Gold futures settled firmly lower on Friday as the dollar jumped after a key report on payrolls in July showed stronger-than-expected job creation. December gold fell $9.80 , or 0.8%, to finish the session at $1,264.60 an ounce. A gauge of the U.S. dollar, the U.S. ICE Dollar Index rose 0.8%, coming off a 15-month low, and weighing on commodities, like gold, priced in the currency. The moves came after a report from the Labor Department showed that the U.S. added a better-than-expected 209,000 new jobs in July, more than most economists were banking on. The unemployment rate fell back to a 16-year low of 4.3%. The labor report underlined what has been a healthy pace of job growth, but also may offer the Federal Reserve little cause to delay lifting interest rates as it seeks to normalize monetary policy. The one-two punch of higher rates and a stronger greenback can serve as a headwind to assets like gold that don't bear a yield. For the week, the buck finished down 0.4%.
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