MTECHTIPS- Gold prices fell on Friday as a solid U.S. employment report for July revived expectations for another interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve this year. Gold for August delivery settled at $1,258.28 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal ended the week down 0.8%, its first weekly percentage decline in four weeks. The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs last month, beating expectations for a gain of 183,000 and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%. The report also showed that average hourly earnings increased by 9 cents or 0.3% last month to $26.36 an hour, the largest monthly increase since October. Wages increased by 2.5% on a year-over-year basis, matching June’s increase. The uptick in wage growth indicated that inflationary pressures are firming. Markets believe stronger inflation will enable the Fed to stick to its plans for a third interest rate hike this year. Expectations of a faster pace of rate increases tend to weigh on gold, which is denominated in dollars and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when borrowing costs rise. Gold prices are up around 9% this year, lifted in part by expectations that the Fed will take a gradual path toward tightening monetary policy. Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was down 2.25% to $16.25 a troy ounce, and ended the week down 2.65%. Copper was trading at $2.889 a pound late Friday, up 0.38% for the day and ended the week up 0.52%. Palladium was down 0.64% at $875.4 and finished the week down 0.61%. Platinum was up 0.34% at $967.85 an ounce and ended the week with gains of 3.2%.