* ECB leaves interest rates unchanged at 0.5 pct
* Market awaits U.S. nonfarm jobs report on Friday
* Coin demand not as strong as April - Perth Mint
By Clara Denina
LONDON, July 4 Gold eased on Thursday after
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signalled it could cut
interest rates further, pressuring the euro against the dollar,
but moves were muted ahead of U.S. jobs data.
Volumes were thinned by traders' reluctance to take big
positions during the U.S. Independence Day holiday.
Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,247.90 an ounce
by 1537 GMT, after rising nearly 1 percent on Wednesday. Comex
gold futures for August fell 0.4 percent to $1,247.50.
European stocks rose and the euro fell on Thursday as the
region's top central bank pledged not to let stimulus withdrawal
in the United States and renewed euro zone tensions derail the
The ECB left its main interest rates unchanged as expected
at record lows of 0.5 percent. Draghi said the bank expected its
key interest rates to remain at current or lower levels for an
The news weighed on gold, which tends to move in the
opposite direction to the dollar, but prices held in a range as
traders awaited U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday.
"There has been not much action today and with the Draghi
announcement, we have seen fairly dovish monetary policy
continuing, as expected," Mitsubishi precious metals analyst
Jonathan Butler said.
"I think this is very much a calm before the storm ... the
U.S. is out today and the focus is all on non-farm payrolls
tomorrow, which I think is potentially the storm - if the data
comes in line with expectation there may be more selling for
gold," he added.
Friday's U.S. non-farm payrolls report is expected to show
the economy created 165,000 jobs last month. The data could
affect when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering off its $85
billion monthly bond-buying stimulus programme.
Gold posted its biggest quarterly loss on record in the
April-June period, down 23 percent. Selling was exacerbated by
comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last month that the U.S.
economy was recovering strongly enough for the central bank to
begin pulling back on its stimulus in the next few months.
This would support a rise in interest rates, making gold
Gold has jumped 7 percent since hitting its lowest price in
almost three years at $1,180.71 last Friday, but many traders
view those gains as a typical short-term rally that follows a
Political turmoil in Portugal, where talks over the
government's future threatened to reignite the euro zone crisis,
sparked some safe-haven gold buying which now appeared to be
Physical demand for gold was lukewarm despite the recent
fall in prices, and premiums remained steady in main markets as
refineries prepared to shut for house-keeping during the summer,
"Our coin dealers in Australia have seen a good response to
this recent drop. But it is not the same response as we got in
April (when prices fell the most in 30 years)," said Bron
Suchecki, manager of analysis and strategy at the Perth Mint.
The mint's depository business has not seen significant
liquidations but the inflows have dropped off, he said.
Silver fell 1 percent to $19.48 an ounce. Platinum
fell 0.2 percent to $1,334.74 an ounce and palladium
dropped 1 percent to $675.72 an ounce.