Gold futures extended losses to hit a two-week low on Wednesday, after data showed U.S. non-farm private employment rose more than expected in September, boosting optimism over the health of the economy and supporting the case for a U.S. interest rate hike this year. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell to a session low of $1,117.90 a troy ounce, the weakest level since September 17, before trading at $1,118.00 during U.S. morning hours, down $8.80, or 0.78%. A day earlier, gold declined $4.90, or 0.43%, as expectations for a U.S. rate hike in the coming months dampened the appeal of the precious metal. Payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by 200,000 this month, above expectations for an increase of 194,000. The economy created 186,000 jobs in August, whose figure was downwardly revised from a previously reported increase of 190,000. Investors now looked ahead to Friday’s U.S. jobs report for September, which could help to provide clarity on the likelihood of a near-term interest rate hike. The consensus forecast is that the data will show jobs growth of 203,000 this month, following an increase of 173,000 in August, while the unemployment rate is forecast to hold steady at 5.1%. Traders will also be keeping an eye on Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to give welcome remarks at the Federal Reserve’s annual community banking conference in St. Louis at 3:00PM Eastern time on Wednesday.