MTECHTIPS;-Gold rallies to 12-week high on bets for less aggressive Fed

MTECHTIPS-Gold prices gained in European morning trade on Monday, rising toward the highest level in about 12 weeks as investors scaled back expectations for a more aggressive pace of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve this year. Gold for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose to a session peak of $1,227.00 a troy ounce, the most since November 16. It was last at $1,225.45 by 3:15 AM ET (08:15 GMT), up $4.55, or around 0.4%. Prices of the yellow metal climbed 2.4% last week, its best weekly gain in seven months. The latest U.S. employment report showed that jobs growth beat expectations, but wage growth remained tepid, which will likely prompt the Fed to adopt a more cautious approach on raising interest rates this year. The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January from the prior month, the Labor Department said Friday, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% from 4.7% in December, as more Americans joined the workforce. But average hourly earnings rose just 0.1% in January from a year earlier, below expectations for a 0.3% rise and slowing from 0.2% in December. The small gain lowered the year-on-year increase in earnings to 2.5% from 2.8% in December.

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