October 5, 2017 / 4:37 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold little changed in quiet trade ahead of U.S. jobs data

    * Spot gold may retest resistance at $1,281 -technicals
    * Hurricanes seen impacting U.S. jobs data

 (Updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Oct 5 (Reuters) - Gold held within a tight trading range on
Thursday as the dollar held firm on strong U.S. services sector
growth, with markets awaiting the key U.S. non-farm payrolls
report on Friday.    
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,274.11 an ounce at 0655
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were
unchanged at $1,276.90 per ounce.
    "Everyone's waiting for the employment figures this Friday.
Unless somebody in the Federal Reserve says something, there's
not going to be much movement until Friday," said Yuichi
Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at CIBC Standard Bank. 
    On Thursday, the dollar inched up against a basket of its
peers, upheld as data from Wednesday showed accelerated growth
in the U.S. services sector in September, although sagging
Treasury yields limited gains.                     
    Markets awaited U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday, with
investors expecting a slowdown in new jobs due to disruptions
from two major hurricanes in September.  
    Asian shares were a tad firmer in early trade, taking their
cues from strong U.S. data although holiday-thinned trade and
uncertainty about the impact of recent hurricanes on the U.S.
economy were likely to keep investors cautious.            
    "Recently, China has been quiet even when they were in.
Things might change because this week gold is a bit lower than
last week. They may show some interest," Ikemizu said.    
    "The North Korea news has died down but it could come back
at any time. I would be pretty cautious to go short from here.
I'd rather think people will be bargain hunters below $1,300."
    Spot gold may retest resistance at $1,281. If it breaks
through that level prices could climb into the $1,287-$1,297 per
ounce zone, Reuters technicals analyst Wang Tao said.
    Meanwhile, Fed funds futures         on Wednesday showed
investors were pricing in an 83 percent chance of a December
rate hike by the U.S. central bank.       
    Higher interest rates typically boost the dollar and aid
bond yields, adding pressure on greenback-denominated,
non-yielding gold.
    Any new head of the Fed will need to have the "flexibility
of mind" to change tack during acute periods of crisis, the U.S.
central bank's outgoing Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer said on
    In other precious metals, silver        was little changed 
at $16.59 an ounce.
    Platinum        slipped 0.3 percent to $909.74 an ounce,
while palladium        was 0.1 percent higher at $922.47 an

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali
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