* Gold off 11-week highs hit Thursday
* U.S. nonfarm payroll data due 1330 GMT
* SPDR Gold holdings up for second day
(Updates prices, adds comment)
By Sethuraman N R
Feb 3 Gold prices slipped on Friday as the
dollar rose against the yen after Japan offered to buy
government bonds and attention shifted to key U.S. jobs data
later in the day.
Spot gold edged down 0.3 percent to $1,212.91 an
ounce by 0557 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent to
The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of major rivals, rose 0.1 percent.
The dollar was up 0.2 percent at 113.04 yen after
rising as high as 113.24 earlier.
The BOJ offered to buy benchmark 10-year Japanese government
bonds in a special operation on Friday, aimed at keeping the
10-year yield at its target of around zero
"Gold traded in a fairly tight range today, taking its cues
largely from swings in the volatile dollar against yen," MKS
PAMP Group trader Alex Thorndike said.
The rally in Japanese government bonds suppressed gold,
Thorndike said, although "support for gold remained in place."
Spot gold marked an 11-week high of $1,225.30 an ounce on
Thursday. It has risen 1.8 percent so far this week.
"Although we've had short term bids on gold due to
uncertainty ... there is some very serious (technical)
resistance around the $1,219-$1,221 area," said Jeffrey Halley,
senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
"There would have been impulsive buying on the break of
$1,221, but when it moved back down again, lots of guys would
have turned and squared (positions) again," Halley said.
Spot gold may retrace towards a support at $1,182 after
failing to break a resistance at $1,219 per ounce, according to
Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
U.S. non-farm payroll data for January will be closely
watched on Friday. The report is seen as a key barometer of the
health of the U.S. economy and will be examined for signs that
growth is strong enough to support further interest rate hikes.
According to a Reuters survey, nonfarm payrolls probably
increased by 175,000 jobs last month, picking up from the
156,000 jobs added in December. The unemployment rate is
expected to be unchanged at 4.7 percent, near a nine-year low.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose for a second day on
Thursday, climbing 0.18 percent to 811.22 tonnes.
On Wednesday SPDR Gold holdings rose 1.34 percent, the
biggest one-day gain since Sept.6.
Spot silver fell 0.8 percent to $17.30, after hitting
its strongest in over 11 weeks at $17.73 in the last session.
Platinum dropped 0.8 percent to $991.20, having hit a
12-week high of $1,011.60 the day before. Palladium fell
0.8 percent to $751.28.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman and Arpan Varghese in
Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin)