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Gold-mining companies rise on weak jobs report

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of gold-mining companies rose Friday on the coattails of higher gold prices after a weak jobs report fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will take more action to help the economy.

Some investors see possible action by the Fed, such as a new round of bond buying, as inflationary and gold is a traditional inflation hedge.

The government said employers added just 96,000 jobs in August. Businesses have added 139,000 jobs per month since the start of the year, compared with a monthly average of 153,000 jobs in 2011.

That raised expectations that the Fed will take action at its meeting next week to spur economic growth. Some investors are speculating that the Fed may start a new bond-buying program, which would be designed to lower long-term interest rates to encourage borrowing and spending.

The price of gold has increased about 5 percent since Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Aug. 31 that the central bank will do more to help the struggling economy.

Gold and other commodities benefited from previous Fed bond-buying programs. Low interest rates also pressure the dollar, and because commodities are priced in dollars, a weaker dollar makes them more of a bargain for traders who use other currencies.

In afternoon U.S. trading, shares of Barrick Gold Corp. rose $1.25, or 3.2 percent, to $40.25 in afternoon trading. Newmont Mining Corp. gained $1, or 2 percent, to $51.90. Goldcorp Inc. increased $1.09, or 2.6 percent, to $43.23. Kinross Gold Corp. was up 58 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $9.71.