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PRECIOUS-Gold slips to 1-wk low as US jobs data boosts rate-hike prospects

* Gold may test resistance at $1,339 -technicals
    * Silver touches near 2-week low

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Sethuraman N R
    Aug 8 (Reuters) - Gold inched down to a fresh one-week low
on Monday, after falling about 2 percent in the previous
session, as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data increased the
possibility of a rate hike this year by the Federal Reserve.
    U.S. employment rose more than expected for the second month
in a row in July and wages picked up, bolstering expectations of
faster economic growth, and raising the probability of an
interest rate increase this year. 
    Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,332.80 an ounce by
0649 GMT, after dipping to as low as $1,331.36, the lowest since
July 29. 
    U.S. gold edged down 0.5 percent to $1,338.40 an
ounce.
    "Gold prices have fully digested the nonfarm payrolls data,"
said OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan.
    "The U.S. economic fundamentals have picked up. But, the
downside risks from whatever is happening from the Brexit is
still unknown. Another uncertainty that market watchers will be
looking at would be the U.S. presidential elections."
    Spot gold may test resistance at $1,339 per ounce, with a
good chance of breaking above this level and bouncing more
towards the next resistance at $1,346, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao. 
    There was a mix of short covering and bargain hunting on
Monday before sellers wrestled back control, said MKS PAMP Group
trader Sam Laughlin. 
    Traders and top Wall Street banks expect the Fed to raise
U.S. interest rates in 2016 after a strong July jobs report.
  
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion,
while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
    Speculators added net longs in gold futures for the first
time in four weeks in the week to Aug. 2. 
    Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.73 percent to 980.34
tonnes on Friday. 
    "We may be seeing a turning point setting in for both gold
and silver, as the impact of the nonfarm payroll number cannot
be dismissed," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
    "This will now prompt investors to look for an increasingly
aggressive Fed going into the second half of the year."
    Among other precious metals, spot silver hit a near
2-week low and was down 0.3 percent at $19.60 an ounce. It fell
3 percent on Friday.
    Spot platinum was up 0.1 percent at $1,143.50.
Palladium was slightly down at $693.25.

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford and Biju Dwarakanath)
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