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NEW YORK: Gold rebounded above the $1,800 psychological level on Friday, helped by a retreat in the dollar and data showing slower-than-expected growth in US employment underpinning the need for additional financial support.

Spot gold climbed 0.8% to $1,807.21 per ounce by 11:20 a.m. EST (1620 GMT), after falling to its lowest since Dec. 1 on Thursday. US gold futures rose 0.9% to $1,807.50.

“Gold continues to primarily take its lead from the dollar and we expect this to remain the case in the coming sessions,” said Suki Cooper, analyst at Standard Chartered.

“Beyond the near term, we believe the outlook remains constructive for gold given the fiscal stimulus is likely to result in large US twin deficits.”

Making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, the dollar retreated 0.4%.

US employment growth rebounded moderately in January and job losses in the prior month were deeper than initially thought.

The US House of Representatives will take up final approval on Friday of a budget measure that would let Democrats push the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through Congress.

Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement likely spurred by widespread stimulus.

For the week, however, gold is down 2%, its biggest decline since the week ended Jan. 8, in part due to higher US Treasury yields, because they increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

As investors shift their focus toward the US economic outlook and eye riskier assets, gold may weaken in the short term, said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.

Spot silver gained 1.6% to $26.72 per ounce, but was down 0.6% for the week. Prices have shed over 12% since scaling a multi-year peak of $30.03 on Monday, propelled by a GameStop-style retail frenzy. Palladium gained 2.2% to $2,331.98, and was headed for its best week since November 2020. Platinum rose 1.8% to $1,117.24 and was on track for best week in five.

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