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Gold Prices Recover on Soft Jobs Report

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices were paring losses on Wednesday after a report on private sector employment suggested softer-than-expected growth in March.

Gold for April delivery at the COMEX division of the CME was down $2.50 to $1,573.40 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,577.30 and as low as $1,563.10 an ounce, while the spot price was down $2.80, according to Kitco's gold index.

ADP reported private-sector employment rose by 158,000 in March, which was less than the 200,000 that economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting.

Wednesday is marking the second-consecutive losing session for the yellow metal. On Tuesday,gold plummeted as more investors continued to seek higher returns from surging equity markets.

The Federal Reserve's dual mandate to combat a rise in inflation and steer the economy toward strong job growth has led gold investors to keep an eye on important labor data. Strong labor statistics -- monthly nonfarm payrolls, the monthly ADP report and initial jobless claims, among others -- offer a sense of overall economic health in the United States. And as the Fed has marked a 6.5% unemployment rate as a threshold to possibly begin raising the short-term federal funds rate, precious metals traders have used jobs data to gauge the need to exit or increase holdings in gold.

Silver prices for May delivery were losing 3 cents to $27.22 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was shrinking 0.1% to $82.80.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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