* Fed stimulus seen continuing after bright U.S. jobs data
* China's gold imports from Hong Kong hit 10-month low
* Eyes on next week's Federal Reserve meeting, fiscal cliff
* Coming up: U.S. international trade data Tuesday
(Adds market details, update prices)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Dec 7 Gold rose on Friday, rebounding
from early lows, as upbeat U.S. nonfarm payrolls data did not
alter a view that the Federal Reserve will continue to use
bullion-friendly economic stimulus to boost growth.
For the week, bullion was down 0.7 percent for a second
consecutive weekly loss.
The metal fell to a one-month low earlier in the session as
safe-haven buying dried up after data showed U.S. employers
hired more workers than expected in November and jobs growth
remaining on a steady but slow path.
However, gold buying emerged as the market later focused on
downward revisions to the job figures in September and October.
A sharp decline in consumer confidence in early December and
short-covering by funds also lifted gold prices.
Analysts also said that the encouraging jobs report was not
enough to dash hopes of more Fed buyback of assets known as
quantitative easing (QE) to ease worries about the fiscal cliff,
referring to tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in early
"It's all about QE with these metals and I don't think there
is any end of that in 2013," said Matthew Schilling, commodities
broker at futures brokerage RJ O'Brien.
Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent at $1,702 an ounce by
2:27 p.m. EST (1927 GMT), rebounding from a one-month low of
U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
up $3.70 an ounce at $1,705.50, with trading volume more than 30
percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
The Labor Department said nonfarm employment expanded by
146,000 jobs last month.
"(Today's jobs data) doesn't remove the need for stimulus
but might convince the Fed to opt for a smaller program," BK
Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien said.
The payrolls data was being closely watched ahead of a
policy meeting of the Federal Reserve next week. The Fed is
expected to unveil a fresh round of bond purchases to battle a
possible recession if the United States fails to resolve the
budget crisis is prompting.
Many economists expect the U.S. central bank to announce
monthly bond purchases of $45 billion after its policy gathering
on Dec. 11-12. This will be on top of its September announcement
of $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities until the job
market dramatically improves.
GOLD ETFS HIT RECORD HIGHS
Investors' appetite for physically backed funds held firm,
with holdings of gold exchange-traded funds
hitting record highs at 76.133 million ounces on Thursday.
However, gold imports from Hong Kong to China, one of the
world's top bullion buyers, fell in October to their lowest in
ten months, data showed on Friday.
Bullion buyers largely ignored a resurgent dollar which has
risen for a third consecutive day and posted a 1.5 percent gain
during that time.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 3 cents at
$33.01 an ounce. Spot platinum was up 0.8 percent at
$1,604.50 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.3
percent at $692.30 an ounce.
2:27 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold FEB 1705.50 3.70 0.2 1684.10 1706.90 130,984
US Silver MAR 33.131 0.017 0.1 32.680 33.340 38,697
US Plat JAN 1607.00 6.30 0.4 1590.50 1608.90 8,780
US Pall MAR 698.00 0.95 0.1 688.50 702.00 4,783
Gold 1702.00 3.38 0.2 1685.01 1705.00
Silver 33.010 0.030 0.1 32.640 33.240
Platinum 1604.50 12.00 0.8 1594.00 1606.00
Palladium 692.30 2.30 0.3 690.70 698.50
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 136,839 187,030 174,667 13.4 -0.02
US Silver 40,529 58,963 52,689 21.66 -0.03
US Platinum 10,096 8,396 8,808 16.43 -0.02
US Palladium 4,808 6,078 4,753
(Additional reporting by Jan Harvey and David Brough in London;
Editing by Marguerita Choy)