PRECIOUS-Gold slips as U.S. data reinforces growth hopes

Wed Mar 6, 2013 8:08pm EST

SINGAPORE, March 7 (Reuters) - Gold nudged lower on
Thursday, as data showing signs of improvement in the U.S. job
market bolstered hopes for growth and weighed on safe-haven
demand, while investors await policy meetings of major central
banks.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold inched down 0.2 percent to $1,580.54 an
ounce by 0045 GMT.
    * U.S. gold edged up 0.3 percent to $1,580.20.
    * U.S. private employers hired more workers than expected in
February and demand for a range of factory goods was solid in
January, hopeful signs for the economy as it deals with higher
taxes and deep government budget cuts. 
    * The U.S. Labour Department's February employment report,
due on Friday, is expected to show moderate job growth as higher
taxes and fears of deep government spending cuts made employers
cautious, arguing for the continuous monetary support from the
Federal Reserve. 
    * Investors are waiting for the outcomes of policy meetings
of Bank of Japan, European Central Bank and Bank of England
later in the day.  
 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, was unchanged on March 6 at
1,244.855 tonnes, after dropping for an unprecedented eleven
straight sessions. The end of rapid outflow could help stabilise
gold prices.
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    MARKET NEWS
    * Wall Street mostly edged higher on Wednesday, with the Dow
hitting another record, helped by a private payroll survey that
bodes well for the monthly jobs report due at the week's end.
 
    * The yen, euro and sterling all struggled on Thursday with
the pound hitting a 2-1/2 year trough as markets positioned for
more stimulus from the BOE, and waited for the outcomes of the
BOJ and ECB meetings. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 0200  Japan     Bank of Japan policy decision                
 0745  France    Trade balance                               
 0900  Italy     Producer prices                             
 1100  Germany   Industrial orders                          
 1200  Britain   Bank of England bank rate                   
 1245  Euro zone ECB rate decision                           
 1330  European Central Bank President Mario Draghi holds 
       news conference
 1330  U.S.      International trade                         
 1330  U.S.      Weekly jobless claims                      
 2000  U.S.      Consumer credit                             
    
    PRICES
    
     Precious metals prices 0045 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1580.54   -2.77   -0.17     -5.61
  Spot Silver        28.95   -0.06   -0.21     -4.39
  Spot Platinum    1586.75    2.50   +0.16      3.37
  Spot Palladium    743.50   -0.72   -0.10      7.44
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1580.20    5.30   +0.34     -5.70         3156
  COMEX SILVER MAY3  28.94    0.14   +0.48     -4.27          816
  Euro/Dollar       1.2975
  Dollar/Yen         94.08
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 

 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Davies)