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Gold tumbles after upbeat jobs data; ends 1% lower

Source: World Gold Council

Gold ended 1 percent lower on Friday after stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data helped soothe fears of an abrupt slowdown in the world's biggest economy.

Employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after creating 129,000 new positions in January, the U.S. Labor Department said. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent.

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Economists polled by Reuters had expected non-farm payrolls to rise 149,000 and the unemployment rate to hold steady at 6.6 percent.

Gold futures for April delivery settled 1 percent lower at $1,338.20 an ounce.

Spot gold fell as much as 1.5 percent to a session low of $1,329.35 an ounce, and was trading down 1 percent at $1,338.

"In the short term, given the better-than-expected data, and provided nothing happens in Ukraine over the weekend, gold could fall below $1,330," VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said.

"We need another month or two of sustained better-than-expected jobs data out of the U.S., which I think we will have because the weather will also improve, to see gold pressured even lower."

The stronger jobs figures bolstered the dollar, which rose 0.1 percent versus a basket of currencies, while U.S. shares opened higher on Wall Street.

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