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PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after 3-day drop as dollar, equities slip
June 8, 2015 / 10:22 AM / 2 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold edges up after 3-day drop as dollar, equities slip

* Gold hit 11-week low on Friday

* U.S. jobs report boosts September rate rise prospects

* Gold fund outflows continue, hurting sentiment (Adds comment, updates prices)

By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Harvey

NEW YORK/LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - Gold rose slightly after a three-day streak of declines on Monday as the dollar and stock markets fell, though prices hovered near 11-week lows after Friday’s jobs data fueled speculation that U.S. interest rates may rise in September.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,174 an ounce at 3:03 p.m. EDT (1903 GMT), while U.S. gold futures for August delivery settled up $5.50 at $1,173.60 an ounce.

The yellow metal on Friday touched its lowest since March 19 at $1,162.35 after data showed U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected last month.

The report bolstered expectations the Federal Reserve will begin to raise U.S. rates in September, which would increase the opportunity cost of non-interest-paying bullion.

“There is still potential for gold prices to continue dropping, but it will be dependent on how positive the U.S. data is,” said Bernard Dahdah, an analyst at Natixis.

“Gold is not a yield-earning investment and we know that it costs you money to hold it in large quantities,” he said. “All these incentives of yield-earning investments are really taking their toll on gold.”

Analysts see gold’s next major support level around the March low of $1,142.

“I think the gold market does not yet believe fully that the Fed is going to increase interest rates in September, so they’re trading a little bit off the dollar trend, a little bit off of economic surprises,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth management.

“We think the Fed tightens in September,” he added.

A retreat in stocks helped underpin gold prices as equity market strength has diverted some interest from bullion.

Further outflows were seen from the world’s top gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust. Holdings fell 0.17 percent to the lowest since mid-January at 708.70 tonnes on Friday.

In mining news, South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union said on Sunday it would launch a wildcat strike if its rival union and gold mining companies impose a wage deal on its members.

Interest in physical gold in the major Asian markets picked up on Monday after bullion prices declined for a third straight week, by 1.6 percent.

“We did notice solid Chinese interest during their morning session as the onshore premium moved to around $3.50,” MKS said in a research note.

Spot platinum rose 0.6 percent to $1,097.70 an ounce. Silver slipped 0.4 percent to $15.99 an ounce, while palladium fell 0.8 percent to $742.70 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore and Clara Denina in London; eiting by David Evans, David Clarke and G Crosse)

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