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Gold surged to a seven-month peak on Friday after remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell increased traders' confidence the U.S. central bank had completed its monetary policy tightening and could cut rates early next year. Spot gold climbed 1.2% to $2,060.69 per ounce by 12:35 p.m. ET (1735 GMT), its highest since May 4. Powell's remarks reaffirmed the U.S. central bank's intent to be cautious in its upcoming monetary policy decisions but said the Fed is not thinking about lowering rates right now.
The owner of two precious metals mines in south-central Montana is stopping work on an expansion project and laying off about 100 workers because the price of palladium fell sharply in the past year, mine representatives said Thursday. Sibanye-Stillwater announced the layoffs Wednesday at the only platinum and palladium mines in the United States, near Nye, Montana, and other Sibanye-owned facilities in Montana, including a recycling operation. Another 187 contract workers — about 67% of the mining contract workers at the mine — will also be affected.