Kitco News -- Gold prices ended the U.S. day session lower Thursday, but the focus for the metal is now squarely on Friday morning’s U.S. jobs report. ‘It is going to be a really important number, especially if we get a number under expectation,’ said Gary Wagner, editor of the goldforecast.com, ahead of Friday’s data. The key non-farm payrolls number is expected to be up 200,000, or slightly above, in August. This report is the most important economic report of the week, and arguably of the month, Wagner said in an interview with Kitco News. Wagner explained that Friday’s U.S. jobs report will be a determining factor on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve makes a rate hike in September. ‘If it is under expectations, it doesn’t bode for any rate hike to be implemented,’ Wagner said. Until the central bank does pull the trigger on a rate hike, Wagner said that volatility will be the name of the game for gold. ‘We have now moved back under the 50-day moving average and that is a critical component on a technical basis -- we now have gold back under pressure.’ December Comex gold was last down $9.40 at $1,124.20 an ounce.
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