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Gold prices holding steady as JOLTS shows 10.72 million job openings in U.S.

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(Kitco News) - The gold market is holding on to modest gains even as the U.S. labor market remains healthy with the number of jobs available rising more than expected.

Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased to 10.72 million on the last day of September, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS report, on Tuesday.

The data beat expectations as economists were looking for job openings to drop to 9.75 million.

Economists are paying more attention to the number of jobs available as the data has been fairly volatile. Some economists are expecting to see fewer jobs available as the Federal Reserve aggressively raises interest rates to slow the economy to cool down inflation.

The gold market is not seeing much reaction to the latest labor market data as it continues to hover just below resistance at $1,650 an ounce. December gold futures last traded at $1,647.80 an ounce, up 0.43% on the day.

According to some analysts, the latest labor market data does not bode well for investors who expect the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its tightening cycle. The Federal Reserve has said that they are focused on tightness in the labor market as it is a major factor in persistently high inflation.

Markets have all but priced in a 75-basis point hike when the U.S. central bank announces its monetary policy decision Wednesday. At the same time, markets are still evenly split between expectations for a 50 or 75 basis point move in December.

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