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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Barrick Gold (ABX) were declining on heavy trading volume late Wednesday afternoon as gold prices touched their lowest level in more than two months earlier today. 

Gold for December delivery was down 0.29% to $1,312.70 per ounce on the COMEX this afternoon, weighing on shares of the Canadian gold producer.

The precious metal is being pressured by expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in coming months. A strong employment report tomorrow would strengthen the case for a rate increase, analysts said, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Gold doesn't pay interest and struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are higher. 

About 32.90 million shares of Barrick Gold have been traded so far today, well above its average trading volume of roughly 15.28 million shares a day. 

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "hold" with a ratings score of C.

Barrick Gold's strengths such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income are countered by weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABX

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author. 

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