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Gold Prices Firm as RateHike Bets Ebb; Fed Minutes in Focus

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Most U.S. markets closed on Monday

Fed minutes due on Wednesday

Growth in Chinas June services activity falls to 14month low

Spot gold may rise to 1,813oz technicals Adds chart, details, and updates prices

July 5 Reuters Gold held steady near a twoweek high on Monday, as concerns eased over an earlierthanexpected rate hike by the Federal Reserve after a mixed bag of U.S. jobs data, while focus shifted to minutes from the U.S. central banks June policy meet.

Higher interest rates translate into a reduced opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest.

Spot gold was steady at 1,786.90 per ounce, as of 0524 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 18 at 1,794.86 on Friday. Most U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Independence Day holiday.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 to 1,786.80.

Last weeks payroll numbers provided a lot of mixed signals and the data wasnt solid enough to move that Fed needle, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said.

However, economic growth in the United States is quite strong, inflation is quite strong … We have to be very cognizant as markets are still playing a hawkish Fed hand and this is going to limit gold topside ambitions.

Data on Friday showed U.S. companies in June hired the most workers in 10 months, but unemployment ticked higher, workforce participation didnt budge and the pace of hourly earnings growth slowed.

Meanwhile, a rebound in the U.S. labour market is strengthening investors…

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