* European shares fall on soft China trade data
* Strong U.S. jobs figures cap gains on gold
* Chinese premiums edge higher (Updates prices, adds comment)
By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Gold edged up from the previous session’s three-week low on Monday, as European equities were hurt by soft Chinese trade data and worries about Greece.
Spot gold gained 0.7 percent to $1,241.43 an ounce by 2:46 p.m. EST (1946 GMT). The metal on Friday posted its biggest one-day loss since December 2013, hitting $1,228.25, as the dollar rallied after strong U.S. payrolls data.
U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up 0.6 percent at $1,241.50 per ounce.
“For the three months up to the FOMC meeting gold has behaved as a safe haven because of Greece, but now the focus has shifted back to the U.S. and the timing of the U.S. interest rates hike,” Citi analyst David Wilson said, referring to last month’s interest-rate policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
Gold was also helped as stock indexes worldwide slipped after weaker-than-expected Chinese trade data, and on uncertainty about Greece’s position in the eurozone.
The dollar fell, giving back just some of its gains made on Friday, after data showed U.S. jobs growth rose solidly in January and wages rebounded, an indication of economic strength that put a mid-year interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve back on the table.
The U.S. central bank has held benchmark borrowing costs near zero since December 2008. An increase in rates should further boost the dollar, in turn denting demand for gold, a non-interest-bearing asset.
“It’s pretty much a technical day today. For now we’re respecting that 50-day moving average,” said Eli Tesfaye, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago.
Spot gold remained above the 50-day moving average seen as support around $1,229.
Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish bets on gold and silver futures and options for the first time in six weeks during the week to Feb. 3, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
In physical markets, Chinese premiums rose to between $4 and $5 an ounce, from less than $4 in the previous session, as last week’s sharp decline in prices attracted some buyers.
Chinese consumers typically buy gold for gift-giving ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday on Feb. 19 to 20, but buying is likely to slow during and just before the break, traders said.
Spot silver was up 2 percent at $17.02 an ounce. Palladium was down 0.7 percent at $776.50 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.4 percent to $1,214.95 an ounce. (Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by William Hardy, David Holmes and Diane Craft)