Gold extended losses below the key $1,700 an ounce level on Friday, as surprising strength in U.S. jobs data helped diminish demand for the safe-haven asset.
The precious metal fell as low as $1,695, heading for a fourth straight week of losses, after the Labor Department reported that the economy added 171,000 new jobs, even as the unemployment rate edged higher to 7.9 percent.
The numbers followed data on Thursday showing increasing private employment, a drop in jobless claims, a sharp improvement in consumer confidence and mixed signals from the manufacturing sector.
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