Gold rose above the important psychological $1,700 level on Friday as the dollar paused as investors await key US jobs data, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy will continue in the next few months.

* As of 1111 GMT, spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,704.90 per ounce. So far this week, the gold metal is down nearly 2%, after hitting a six-week low of $1,687.60 on Thursday.

* US gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,716.30.

* “We have seen a small decline in the dollar which is lifting gold, but the metal does not have much room for a rebound as markets are pricing in a large increase in interest rates,” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst from KinesisMoney.

* “Investors want to know how aggressive the Federal Reserve can be and a strong jobs data will put more pressure on the central bank to raise rates, which is negative for gold,” he added.

* The dollar index fell 0.3%, but remained close to the 20-year high reached in the previous session.

* After a series of recent economic data from the United States confirmed that its economy is not headed for recession, investors are now awaiting the non-farm payrolls report for August at 1230 GMT.

* In other precious metals, spot silver was up 0.6% at $17.9473 an ounce; platinum was up 0.5% at $832.87; and palladium added 2.1% to $2,053.98.

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