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Gold ends lower on profit taking after 4-week high, weak oil

Source: World Gold Council

Gold settled lower on Wednesday as investors sold to lock in profits after prices hit four-week highs a day earlier in reaction to weaker-than-expected U.S. non-farm payroll data and sold in reaction to a weaker oil market that dragged commodities down.

The metal rose nearly 2 percent on Tuesday while the dollar index hit eight-month lows and stock markets rallied, after weak U.S. jobs data cemented expectations for the Federal Reserve to keep its stimulus measures in place until next year.

Prices were lower on Wednesday even as the dollar remained under pressure. U.S. stocks were lower, while U.S. bonds extended Tuesday's gains.

Spot gold was last down 0.5 percent to $1,333 an ounce after hitting $1,344.46 on Tuesday. for December delivery settled $8.60 lower at $1,334.00 an ounce.

Gold lower on profit taking

"Crude oil is having a large impact on the commodities sector, dragging everything down,'' said Paul Sacks, principal gold trader at Aurum Options Strategies in New York.

U.S. crude fell toward $96 a barrel and its lowest since July in reaction to ample supplies and a further inventory build-up in the United States, the world's top consumer.

Profit taking from Tuesday's rally to the market's loftiest level since Sept. 20 also pushed down prices as investors saw little additional upside, analysts said.

"Yesterday's bounce fizzled out very quickly, which is another sign that rallies are really seen as selling opportunities ... and people don't expect much higher prices,'' ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

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Chart: Precious Metals