PRECIOUS-Gold inches down as US jobs data weighs

Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:52pm EDT

SINGAPORE, March 11 (Reuters) - Gold edged down on Monday as
better-than-expected U.S. employment data brightened economic
growth prospects and depressed safe haven buying, although the
central bank is expected to continue to prop up the economy
through 2013.
    The Federal Reserve's loose monetary policy has helped push
gold to record highs in recent years, as investors seek a hedge
against a rising inflation outlook due to cash printing by the
central bank.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,576.04 an ounce by
0040 GMT, recovering from a two-week low of $1,560.80 in the
previous session.
    * U.S. gold was down 0.1 percent to $1,575.40.
    * U.S. employers added a greater-than-expected 236,000
workers to their payrolls in February and the jobless rate fell
to a four-year low, offering a bright signal on the economy's
health. 
    * But Wall Street expects the Federal Reserve to continue
its program of debt purchases through 2013 in an effort to prop
up the economy despite evidence of an improved job market,
according to a Reuters poll conducted on Friday. 
    * Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long
positions in U.S. gold futures and options by nearly 27 percent
to 39,631 contracts in the week to March 5, the lowest since
July 2007, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.
 
    * Net longs in silver dropped 47 percent on the week to
6,118 lots, the lowest in more than seven months, the data also
showed. 
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 3.311 tonnes to 1,239.739
tonnes by March 10, the lowest since October, 2011.
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    MARKET NEWS
    * U.S. stocks closed out an historic week with another day
of gains on Friday, as the Dow hit yet another record closing
high on a payrolls report that surpassed even the most
optimistic forecasts. 
    * The dollar hovered near a 3 1/2-year high against the yen
and held an upper hand against other major currencies on Monday
after remarkable growth in U.S. employment added to optimism on
the U.S. economy. 
    
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 
 0700 Germany        Trade balance                            
 0745 France         Industrial output                        
 0900 Italy          Final Q4 GDP                             
 1400 U.S.           Employment trends                        
    
    PRICES
    
    Precious metals prices 0040 GMT
  Metal             Last    Change  Pct chg  YTD pct chg    Volume
  Spot Gold        1576.04   -1.70   -0.11     -5.88
  Spot Silver        28.92   -0.04   -0.14     -4.49
  Spot Platinum    1593.24   -6.75   -0.42      3.79
  Spot Palladium    778.00   -2.22   -0.28     12.43
  COMEX GOLD APR3  1575.40   -1.50   -0.10     -5.99         3659
  COMEX SILVER MAY3  28.91   -0.04   -0.15     -4.38          796
  Euro/Dollar       1.2987
  Dollar/Yen         96.04
  COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
 
 (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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