Gold prices inched up toward a four-week high on Monday, as market players awaited further evidence to gauge if the world’s largest economy is strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs in the months ahead. Gold for February delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on $3.55, or 0.3%, to $1,176.95 a troy ounce by 3:45 AM ET (08:45 GMT), after falling $7.90, or around 0.7%, on Friday. Prices of the yellow metal touched $1,185.90 last Wednesday, a level not seen since December 5. Gold tallied a gain of about 2% last week, its best weekly performance in two months, after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting unsettled investors’ expectations about the pace of future interest rate hikes. U.S. jobs data released Friday showed a slowdown in hiring in December but a pickup in wage growth. 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 Fed to keep pushing up interest rates.