November 2, 2018 / 5:33 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady; investors eye U.S. non-farm payroll data

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust rise

* Platinum hits fresh high since June 27

* U.S. jobs report due at 1230 GMT (Updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

BENGALURU, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Friday held on to gains from the previous session as investors remained cautious ahead of a U.S. jobs report, which could provide clues on the pace of further interest rate hikes.

Spot gold was flat at $1,232.81 per ounce, as of 0702 GMT. Prices climbed to their highest since Oct. 26 at $1,237.39 per ounce on Thursday, as the dollar sagged.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,235.1 per ounce.

“The industry is being a little cautious ahead of the jobs data today ... It’s certainly a time for them to take a bit of stock after the volatility in the equities markets,” said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, non-farm payrolls probably rebounded by 190,000 jobs in October after Florence depressed restaurant and retail payrolls in September.

“Friday’s non-farm payroll number will be doubly important since another miss in the number, as was the case last month, could generate further weakness in the greenback and give gold a shot at taking out the $1,245 high,” said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir in a note.

In the wider markets, the dollar steadied on Friday after pulling back from 16-month highs in the previous session as investors cautiously moved back into riskier assets.

Meanwhile, Asian shares jumped after the U.S. and Chinese presidents expressed optimism about resolving their bruising trade war, ahead of a high-stakes meeting planned at the end of November in Argentina.

Gold prices have slipped more than 9 percent from their April peak as investors turned to the dollar as a safe-haven with the trade war unfolding against a backdrop of higher U.S. interest rates.

Spot gold may retrace to a support at $1,224 per ounce before, following its failure to break a resistance at $1,237, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.90 percent to 760.82 tonnes on Thursday, biggest since late August.

Among other precious metals, platinum climbed 1.1 percent to $865.80 per ounce, having touched its highest since June 27 at $866.30 earlier in the session. The metal was up about 4 percent for the week so far and was on track to mark its biggest weekly gain since the week ended Sept. 21.

Palladium rose 0.6 percent to $1,099.90 per ounce and silver was down 0.2 percent at $14.72 per ounce. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Rashmi Aich)

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