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Gold 2% higher after disappointing jobs data

Reuters with

Gold settled at a three-week high on Tuesday after weak U.S. jobs figures raised expectations the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus undiminished well into 2014.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 148,000 in September, the Labor Department said, below the 180,000 forecast in a Reuters poll, increasing worries that the world's largest economy was losing momentum even before the government shutdown this month.

"We were not even close to the 180,000 number ... the main takeaway is that Fed tapering is still a long way away, probably not for this year and that's the reason why everything shot up—equities, commodities and gold in particular,'' Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.

"The next 24 hours are crucial because on what we have just seen, gold should hold and even move higher if the dollar weakens.''

Spot gold, lower initially, rallied 2 percent to its highest since Oct. 1 at $1,344 an ounce. It was last trading 1.9 percent higher at $1,340 an ounce.

The metal has broken above technical resistance at its 100-day moving average of $1,325.

for December delivery settled 2.2 percent higher at $1,342.60 an ounce.

The dollar tumbled to a new eight-month low against a basket of currencies, while global stocks edged up on prospects of a longer spell of super-easy money from the Fed.

Be patient, gold has long-term upside

Analysts said investor sentiment was likely to remain subdued, however, after a big drop in holdings in the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), SPDR Gold Trust, which saw outflows of 10.51 tons to 871.72 tons on Monday.

That was the biggest one-day fall in the fund's holdings since early July.

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Chart: Precious Metals

—By Reuters with