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Gold pares gains after hitting five-month high

PROSPECTING GOLD
AP

Gold pared gains after hitting a five-month high earlier on Friday after U.S. jobs data dampened expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates and amid rising global security tensions.

U.S. employers added the fewest number of workers in 10 months in March, boosting gold which is most attractive to investors in a low interest rate environment

Spot gold was up 0.36 percent at $1,255.82 per ounce, after earlier climbing to its highest since Nov. 10 at $1,270.46 and on track for a fourth straight week of gains.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery hit a high of $1,273.30 earlier in the session, the highest since Nov. 10. However, futures lost most of their gains, trading up $4 to settle at $1,257.30.

Gold was underpinned by investors earlier looking for safety after the United States fired cruise missiles at a Syrian air base, escalating tensions with Russia and Iran.

Russia, a staunch ally of Syria, said relations between Washington and Moscow had been seriously damaged by the strike which was in retaliation for a deadly chemical attack on a rebel-held area of Syria.

"There is the risk that the fight over Syria will lead to a larger confrontation in which Iran and Russia, and the U.S., could get involved, so it could have more serious implications overall," Commodity Discovery Fund founder Willem Middelkoop said.

But some analysts said this support was unlikely to be sustained.

"When you look back at the historical record, these bids for gold based on 'edge-of-the-world' or wars tend to be short-lived and are followed by profit taking," Societe Generale's head of
Metals Research Robin Bhar said.

Spot silver fell 1.25 percent to $18.00 an ounce, after touching $18.47, the highest since Feb. 27.

Platinum dipped 0.52 percent to $950.99, while palladium slipped 0.60 percent to $798.20.