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NEW YORK: Gold rose in early New York trade on Friday, climbing further up from a two-month trough hit during the week, as the dollar weakened and investors weighed prospects for US Federal Reserve tightening after a strong US jobs report that nevertheless showed a slight uptick in the unemployment rate.

Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,781.77 per ounce by 12:48 pm EDT (1648 GMT), after jumping to $1,794.86, its highest level since June 18. US gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,782.90.

Data showed US non-farm payrolls increased by 850,000 jobs, although the unemployment rate rose to 5.9% from 5.8% in the previous month.

US Fed officials have suggested recently that the central bank should begin to taper its asset purchases this year. Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago, said the data was unlikely to trigger a rush from the Fed to ease stimulus or begin interest rate hikes and said gold was supported because “a lot of analysts were secretly looking for a much larger surprise build”.

Benchmark US Treasury yields and the dollar fell after the report, buoying gold as lower yields reduce its opportunity cost.

Silver rose 1.2% to $26.33 per ounce, while platinum gained 0.2% to $1,085.04 and palladium was up 0.6% at $2,779.85.

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