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PRECIOUS-Gold slips from 1-month high ahead of US jobs data
January 6, 2017 / 3:35 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips from 1-month high ahead of US jobs data

* Spot gold on track to end the week up over 2 pct
    * US nonfarm payroll data due 1330 GMT
    * Platinum up 7 pct, palladium up 8.6 pct this week

 (Updates prices, adds comment)
    By Sethuraman N R
    Jan 6 (Reuters) - Gold on Friday slipped from the one-month
high touched in the previous session on a surge in dollar, with
traders waiting for U.S. jobs data later in the day for clues on
the pace of possible U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
    Spot gold eased 0.3 percent to $1,176.36 per ounce by
0543 GMT. The metal on Thursday hit its highest since Dec. 5 at
$1,184.90.
    U.S. gold futures were down 0.4 percent, at $1,177
per ounce.
    "We can see a bit of profit-taking ahead of the nonfarm
payroll data," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong
Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
    A firm dollar will put pressure on gold prices ahead of
Donald Trump's inauguration, he said.
    U.S. services sector activity held at a one-year high in
December as new orders surged, while the number of Americans
filing for unemployment benefits fell near a 43-year-low last
week, suggesting the economy ended 2016 with strong momentum.
 
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was up 0.2 percent at 101.680.
 
    Investors are focused on Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls
report, with economists expecting job gains of 178,000 in
December.
    U.S. Fed has indicated that it would press ahead with
further interest rate hikes this year after its second rate
increase in a decade last month.
    Positive data usually puts pressure on gold prices, because
investors raise bets on a U.S. interest rate hike that would
increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
    Spot gold failed to break a resistance at $1,182 per ounce
and it may either hover below this level or retrace to a support
at $1,159, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
 
    "The charts look a bit weak on the daily side and prices
might come down to the around $1,160," said Brian Lan, managing
director at Singapore-based gold dealer GoldSilver Central.
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 percent to 813.59
tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday. They have fallen over 14
percent since the U.S. presidential election in November.
 
    Among other precious metals, spot silver fell 0.8
percent to $16.42. Silver hit a high of $16.71, its best since
Dec. 15, in the prior session.
    Platinum was down 0.9 percent at $959.24. It touched
a near 8-week high of $975.80 in the prior session.
    Palladium was down nearly 0.3 percent at $736.72,
after hitting a 4-week high of $747.80 on Thursday. Palladium
has gained 8.6 percent this week, its best since the week ending
July 1.

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Gopakumar Warrier)

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