MTECHTIPS- Gold prices fell on Friday, retreating from the previous sessions one-month highs as the dollar strengthened against a currency basket after U.S. jobs data showed a slowdown in hiring in December but a pickup in wage growth. Gold for February delivery settled down 0.73% at $1,172.65 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal was still 1.97% higher for the week, its best weekly performance in two months, helped by a broad weakening of the dollar earlier in the week. The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs in December, falling short of economists forecast for jobs growth of 178,000. The report also showed that the annual rate of wage growth rose to 2.9% in December from a year earlier, the strongest since 2009. The employment data indicated that the economy is improving enough for the Federal Reserve to keep pushing up interest rates. The Fed has indicated that three quarter-percentage-point interest rate increases are on the cards for 2017. Higher rates boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.