* U.S. payrolls rise by less than expected in August
* Gold down 0.5 pct for week as fears ease over Syria
* Top Fed policymaker says tapering to start September
* Coming up: US consumer credit Monday
(Adds trader comment, second byline, dateline, updates market
By Jan Harvey and Clara Denina
NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 6 Gold rose 1.5 percent on
Friday after weaker-than-expected U.S. nonfarm payrolls
increased confusions over when the Federal Reserve will start
paring back its massive bond-buying stimulus.
Despite Friday's rally, gold ended the week 0.5 percent
lower for a second consecutive weekly loss as its safe-haven
appeal dropped on a lack of progress about possible U.S.
military strikes against Syria.
Bullion jumped as much as $30 or 2 percent after data showed
U.S. employers hired fewer workers than expected in August and
the jobless rate hit a 4-1/2 year low as Americans gave up the
search for work.
The disappointing report complicates the Fed's decision on
whether to scale back its monetary stimulus later this month, as
the U.S. central bank is set to deliver its next policy
statement on Sept. 18.
"There is a lot of uncertainty with Syria and the Fed
tapering. Those two forces are very much on most traders' minds
right now," said Albert Ng, a market maker and portfolio manager
at Aurum Options Strategies in New York.
U.S. President Barack Obama resisted pressure on Friday to
abandon plans for air strikes against Syria and enlisted the
support of 10 fellow leaders for a "strong" response to a
chemical weapons attack.
Spot gold was up 1.5 percent to $1,387.46 an ounce by
2:43 p.m. EDT (1843 GMT).
U.S. Comex gold futures for December delivery settled
up $13.50 at $1,386.50 an ounce, with volume about 10 percent
below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
The worse-than-expected U.S. jobs data suggests that
tapering of the Fed's $85 billion monthly bond-purchases, known
as quantitative easing, could be pushed back further than had
previously been expected, said Mitsui Precious Metals analyst
The Fed should begin reducing monthly bond purchases at a
meeting later this month in order to set monetary policy on a
course for "gradual and predictable" normalization, Kansas City
Fed President Esther George, a top U.S. central banker, said on
Monetary stimulus has been a major driver of gold's rally of
recent years, as the metal's status as a hedge against inflation
and economic uncertainty benefited from increased money printing
by central banks in a low interest-rate environment.
Gold rose to a record high of $1,920.30 on Sept. 6, 2011 -
exactly two years ago. Year-to-date, the metal is down 17
percent and may be set to break its streak of annual gains in
the past 12 consecutive years.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 2.8
percent at $23.80 an ounce. Platinum gained 0.9 percent
to $1,491.74 an ounce, while palladium was up 1.3 percent
at $693.71 an ounce.
2:43 PM EDT LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold DEC 1386.50 13.50 1.0 1358.80 1393.60 150,666
US Silver DEC 23.891 0.636 2.7 23.075 23.990 38,350
US Plat OCT 1495.70 13.60 0.9 1478.30 1506.00 8,685
US Pall DEC 696.85 9.65 1.4 685.35 705.25 3,713
Gold 1387.46 20.47 1.5 1363.35 1392.46
Silver 23.800 0.650 2.8 23.080 23.910
Platinum 1491.74 12.74 0.9 1481.00 1502.50
Palladium 693.71 9.21 1.3 687.52 701.75
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 160,326 173,377 184,596 24.76 -0.09
US Silver 40,078 70,632 58,418 37.7 0.32
US Platinum 9,550 9,983 12,297 20.37 0.00
US Palladium 3,772 6,904 5,806
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina in London; Editing by
William Hardy, Keiron Henderson and Nick Zieminski)