MTECHTIPS:-Gold hits session highs after ADP jobs data disappoints

MTECHTIPS:-Gold hits session highs after ADP jobs data disappoints

MTECHTIPS-Gold prices hit the highest levels of the session in North American trade on Thursday, after data showed that U.S. private employers added less jobs than expected last month, backing bets of a slower pace of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Comex gold futures were at $1,224.81 a troy ounce by 8:40 AM ET (1240 GMT), up $3.00, or around 0.3%. The yellow metal fell to the lowest since May 9 at $1,216.50 in the prior session. U.S. private employers added 158,000 jobs in June, well below economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor ADP showed on Thursday. Economists had expected the ADP nonfarm payrolls report to show a gain of 185,000 jobs. The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment. Meanwhile, market players continued to digest the latest minutes from the Fed’s June policy meeting released on Wednesday, which showed a lack of consensus among policymakers over the outlook for inflation and how it could impact on the future pace of interest rate increases. Several officials also wanted to announce a start to the process of reducing the Fed’s large portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities by the end of August, but others preferred to wait until later in the year

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