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PRECIOUS-Gold at two-week low as U.S. jobs data lifts dollar
August 8, 2017 / 10:27 AM / 2 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold at two-week low as U.S. jobs data lifts dollar

    * Investors await clues on pace of U.S. monetary tightening
    * SPDR Gold Trust holdings at lowest since March 2016
    * Platinum rallies to 3-1/2-month high

 (Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, byline, NEW YORK
dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Zandi Shabalala
    NEW YORK/JOHANNESBURG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Gold fell to a
two-week low on Tuesday after U.S. jobs data came in better than
expected and the dollar turned positive, while investors awaited
U.S. inflation figures later this week for further clues about
the pace of interest rate rises.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,255.81 an ounce
by 2:09 p.m. EDT (1809 GMT), after falling to $1,251.01, the
lowest since July 26 and just above the 50-day moving average.
    U.S. gold futures         settled down 0.2 percent at
$1,262.60.
    "We saw better-than-expected jobs data. This caused the
dollar to jump and that put pressure on the gold market," said
Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for RJO Futures in
Chicago.
    U.S. job openings jumped to a record high in June, outpacing
hiring and lifting the U.S. dollar        against a basket of
major currencies.                    
    A stronger dollar increases the cost for buyers of
commodities such as gold who are outside the United States.
    Investors took note of news from Japan, which said on
Tuesday it was possible that North Korea had already developed
nuclear warheads.             
    Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe haven assets
such as gold.
    Investors awaited U.S. inflation data this week as well as
clues as to when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin reducing
its $4.2 trillion bond portfolio.
    Inflation is a key economic factor the U.S. central bank
considers when deciding monetary policy. A strong U.S. inflation
reading could raise expectations for future interest rate
increases, which would put pressure on non-yielding bullion.
    "Given the move towards tighter monetary policy ... the
developing bullish chart picture may be a warning that investors
are buying more gold as an insurance against heightened risk of
trouble ahead," ScotiaBank analysts said in a note.
    Stocks across the globe were little changed after touching a
record high.            
    Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell a slight 0.03 percent to
786.87 tonnes on Monday, the lowest since March 2016.
            
    In other precious metals, platinum        was 0.3 percent
higher at $966.70 per ounce, after touching its highest since
April 21 at $978.10.
    "Platinum is being supported by strong fundamentals as
supply in comparison to demand is a little weak," said Yuichi
Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank.
    Palladium        rose 1.2 percent to $896.50 per ounce,
while silver        rose 1 percent to $16.40 per ounce.

    
 (Additional reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in
Bengaluru; editing by David Clarke and Chizu Nomiyama)
  

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